Rap captures true story for many teens

Third place, opinion writing

Rap. Some people say it’s a positive thing that allows you to express yourself, have a good time and just let go. Others say it’s a disturbance to society and has no purpose. Everyone has their own opinion; others might just be wrong.

I am someone that believes rap is an escape in which people are allowed to say what they need to say along with a beat and recurring patterns. It can educate us about social and political issues we face in society and therefore reveal the truth about how society as a whole faces the problems that no one talks about.

I grew up in a very harsh environment as a kid, and there were always lots of police always being called or making arrests, especially late at night. One night in particular, I had gotten home really late. There were a lot of police on the side of the street and I saw these kids.

They seemed to be in high school, maybe about 15 -or 16-years old, but they were all under gun point. The officers were screaming and the kids were crying and yelling as I went into my house.

I didn’t know what they did, or if they really even did anything. But as I shut the door behind me, I saw them one by one get into the cop car. Each kid crying and each cop yelling, “Shut up and get in!”

In the song “White Privilege” by Macklemore it says, “So I watch and stand In front of a line of police that look the same as me. Only separated by a badge, a baton, a can of Mace, a mask. A shield, a gun with gloves and hands that give an alibi. In case somebody dies behind the bullet that flies out of the nine. Takes another child’s life on sight.”

When reading that I get taken back to that day and relive that moment but with much stronger emotions. It allows me to picture as well as consider the issues and problems society as a whole faces, but aren’t talked about through violent and aggressive imagery.

In fifth grade, I was living a life surrounded by things kids should never have to live with. I hopped from home to home, ended up in a homeless shelter and occasionally stayed with family that had no clue what was really going on.

I hardly ever went to school and I was lucky if I went to school once a week, always getting in trouble for it. I always used the excuse that I lived far and that my brother went to another school so it took longer, and each time the lady in the office would say, “Then you should talk to your family about waking up earlier.”

I usually just nodded my head and walked to class. One morning I remember I was really emotional. I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I had gotten yelled at because I hadn’t woken up on time.

I had gone to school late, as always, and had already missed three days that week so I was expecting the same words from the lady in the office.

Instead she informed me that I now had detention because I didn’t know how to come to school on time. I just nodded and walked down the hall, and once I knew I was out of her view I just started to cry as I walked to class.

In a song titled “1-800-273-8255” by Logic, it says, “I know im hurting deep down but can’t show it. I never had a place to call my own. I never had a home. Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone. Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind? They say every life precious but nobody care about mine.”

I remember that I had felt so alone because no one knew what was really going on, not even my family. I was scared of what would happen if they knew, and where I would end up and how things would work out. I’d been alone mentally for such a long time I figured that no cared.

No one ever asked if I was OK, I never went anywhere unless I was staying somewhere for a few days yet no one asked where I was or what I’d been up to.

These lines from this song allow me to connect and picture problems that society as a whole faces, but aren’t talked about through painful and sad imagery.

Everyday before I went to school when I was little my grandma would tell me, “Sólo Dios puede dictar lo correcto y lo incorrecto y siempre recordar que.” (Only God can dictate the right and the wrong and always remember that.)

I feel like she said that because growing up her family didn’t have a lot and it was always like that, and neither did we so she wanted me to know that no matter what people say, it doesn’t matter because only God can speak the truth and knows right from wrong.

There’s a song by Tupac titled “Only God Can Judge Me” and in that song it says, “And I don’t see why everybody feel as though. That they gotta tell me how to live my life. (You know?) Let me live baby, let me live.” and then: “Only God can judge me.”

Hearing that immediately took me back in time to when my grandma would drop me off, say “Sólo Dios puede dictar lo correcto y lo incorrecto y siempre recordar que,” kiss me on the head, and then leave.

Everyday hearing her say that made me smile because it showed that she cared and was there for me, always. Hearing these lyrics allow me to relate and picture societal problems that aren’t talked about through religion and have crowded imagery.

As I said before, rap music reveals truths about how society as a whole faces problems that there is no conversations of. Listening to not only these songs but this genre has allowed me to learn about the issues we as a society aren’t discussing and bringing to light.

Look up one of these songs, or any other rap song, and really listen to it. See what you learn and what issues they discuss and wonder if we are making a change, if we are even attempting to create a better society. If we aren’t, what are you willing to do to create a better one?