Do Violent Lyrics Make People Violent?

Top photo: Mont Brown says “There was no violence the whole day” when the Astronauts hosted a huge Stop The Violence Festival benefiting the Mothers in Charge Foundation last summer in Southwest Philadelphia, bringing the community together “to show there are ways to interact peacefully.”

Excerpted from Do Violent Lyrics Make People Violent? What is The Impact of Music?

Text by Peak Johnson. Images by Kevin Cook.

In our modern media-saturated world, where violence is regularly portrayed on television, in movies, in video games, in music and readily available anywhere on the Internet, the question of the impact of such messages is open for debate.

Music affects people. That cannot be denied. We would not listen to it if it didn’t. But what are the lasting impressions that it leaves?

A 2006 study conducted by the Prevention Research Center at the Pacific Institute for Research Evaluation found that listening to rap and rock music positively predicted aggressive behavior.

Does violent, misogynistic or slanderous language make such ideas acceptable? Does it encourage us to live a certain lifestyle? Does it glorify the negatives of society?


Photo: Chris Fear of Eat The Turnbuckle says “Music makes you feel. Music activates feelings,” but adds that their stage show is pure entertainment, not life coaching.

Read the full report at jumpphilly.comDo Violent Lyrics Make People Violent? What is The Impact of Music?

Peak Johnson interned with the Gun Crisis Reporting Project in 2012:

Kevin Cook photographs used with permission:

JUMP is a free, full-color music magazine dedicated to the diverse Philly scene:

Posted by Jim MacMillan.