Rap Listeners Prone to Alcohol, Drugs, Violence; Study Raises Questions About Alcohol Industry Marketing Through Hip Hop

Apr 17, 2006, 01:00 ET from Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

    BERKELEY, Calif., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Young people who listen to
 rap and hip hop music are more likely to have problems with alcohol, drugs
 and violence than listeners of other types of music, a new study shows. The
 link to these problems raises serious questions about the alcohol
 industry's use of rap and hip hop to market products, the study author
 said.
     A survey of more than 1,000 community college students found that rap
 music was consistently associated with alcohol use, potential alcohol use
 disorder, illicit drug use and aggressive behavior. Alcohol and illicit
 drug use were also associated with listening to techno and reggae. The
 results were not affected by the respondents' gender or ethnicity.
     "People should be concerned about rap and hip hop being used to market
 alcoholic beverages, given the alcohol, drug and aggression problems among
 listeners," said lead author Meng-Jinn Chen, Ph.D., a research scientist at
 the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's (PIRE) Prevention
 Research Center. "That's particularly true considering the popularity of
 rap and hip hop among young people."
     Rap and hip hop artists and music have been used in advertisements for
 malt liquor and other alcohol products, while the urban contemporary music
 radio format, which features rap and hip hop, is regularly used for alcohol
 advertising.
     The study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on
 Alcohol, surveyed over 1,000 students aged 15 to 25. Students were asked
 about their music listening habits, alcohol use, illicit drug use and
 aggressive behaviors -- such as getting into fights and attacking or
 threatening others. Researchers emphasize that the survey results cannot
 determine whether listening to certain music genres leads to alcohol or
 illicit drug use or aggressive behavior. But young people with tendencies
 to use alcohol or illicit drugs or to be aggressive may be drawn to
 particular music styles.
     "While we don't fully understand the relationship between music
 preferences and behavioral outcomes, our study shows that young people may
 be influenced by frequent exposure to music lyrics that make positive
 references to substance abuse and violence," Meng-Jinn said.
     Recent studies of popular music reveal that nearly half of rap/hip hop
 songs mentioned alcohol as compared to 10 percent or less of other popular
 genres. Nearly two-thirds of rap songs mentioned illicit drugs as compared
 with one-tenth of songs from other genres. Rap and rock music videos depict
 violence twice as often as other music genres.
     The PIRE study, entitled "Music, Substance Use and Aggression," also
 found that young people who listen to reggae and techno use more alcohol
 and illicit drugs than listeners of other music, with the exception of rap.
 Rap topped all other genres in association to alcohol and drug use and
 aggression.
     The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which
 sponsors the PIRE Prevention Research Center, funded the study. PIRE is a
 national nonprofit public health research institute with centers in seven
 cities.
     To obtain a copy of the study or to arrange an interview, contact Jim
 Gogek at (301) 755-2445.
 
 

SOURCE Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
    BERKELEY, Calif., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Young people who listen to
 rap and hip hop music are more likely to have problems with alcohol, drugs
 and violence than listeners of other types of music, a new study shows. The
 link to these problems raises serious questions about the alcohol
 industry's use of rap and hip hop to market products, the study author
 said.
     A survey of more than 1,000 community college students found that rap
 music was consistently associated with alcohol use, potential alcohol use
 disorder, illicit drug use and aggressive behavior. Alcohol and illicit
 drug use were also associated with listening to techno and reggae. The
 results were not affected by the respondents' gender or ethnicity.
     "People should be concerned about rap and hip hop being used to market
 alcoholic beverages, given the alcohol, drug and aggression problems among
 listeners," said lead author Meng-Jinn Chen, Ph.D., a research scientist at
 the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's (PIRE) Prevention
 Research Center. "That's particularly true considering the popularity of
 rap and hip hop among young people."
     Rap and hip hop artists and music have been used in advertisements for
 malt liquor and other alcohol products, while the urban contemporary music
 radio format, which features rap and hip hop, is regularly used for alcohol
 advertising.
     The study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on
 Alcohol, surveyed over 1,000 students aged 15 to 25. Students were asked
 about their music listening habits, alcohol use, illicit drug use and
 aggressive behaviors -- such as getting into fights and attacking or
 threatening others. Researchers emphasize that the survey results cannot
 determine whether listening to certain music genres leads to alcohol or
 illicit drug use or aggressive behavior. But young people with tendencies
 to use alcohol or illicit drugs or to be aggressive may be drawn to
 particular music styles.
     "While we don't fully understand the relationship between music
 preferences and behavioral outcomes, our study shows that young people may
 be influenced by frequent exposure to music lyrics that make positive
 references to substance abuse and violence," Meng-Jinn said.
     Recent studies of popular music reveal that nearly half of rap/hip hop
 songs mentioned alcohol as compared to 10 percent or less of other popular
 genres. Nearly two-thirds of rap songs mentioned illicit drugs as compared
 with one-tenth of songs from other genres. Rap and rock music videos depict
 violence twice as often as other music genres.
     The PIRE study, entitled "Music, Substance Use and Aggression," also
 found that young people who listen to reggae and techno use more alcohol
 and illicit drugs than listeners of other music, with the exception of rap.
 Rap topped all other genres in association to alcohol and drug use and
 aggression.
     The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which
 sponsors the PIRE Prevention Research Center, funded the study. PIRE is a
 national nonprofit public health research institute with centers in seven
 cities.
     To obtain a copy of the study or to arrange an interview, contact Jim
 Gogek at (301) 755-2445.
 
 SOURCE Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation