What about Hiphop..."Musical development" of babies?

     First thing's first, I love Hiphop. The lyrics and dispositions of the greatest Hiphop artists and their artistry are astounding accomplishments for humanity. So recently, when one parent I know shot down Hiphop on its "musicality" and talked negatively of its influence on infants at the subatomic level, it got me thinking.

Do you recall that experiment where they took an amplified speaker and pointed it towards a glass of water, then played various music (towards the glass of water), and examined it through a microscope to see what happens to it?

Turns out, the water that was showered with Classical music formed harmonious beautiful shapes (like a snow flake) and ones that were showered with Heavy Metal music became shattered, fractured, broken shapes.

The theory was that, our bodies are made mostly of water, so the "sounds" we shower the body with will certainly have a similar effect on it at the subatomic, or at least, the microscopic level; on our health conditions.

Now, to be fair, we don't know what "Hiphop" music did to the water; I don't think they tried in that experiment. But Hiphop has a lot of bass/low frequencies that are often ominous sounding. I must admit, even sometimes intimidating for adult listeners. So I believe it was along those lines that someone would form phobia towards "showering" our babies with Hiphop music.

     On top of the argument above, Hiphop's music is loop based, and has lots of dissonances instead of harmonies, and again, bass/low frequency is regarded by some as "unhealthy" for babies compared to Mozart music. And some critics suggest that Hiphop compositions arguably doesn't have complex progressions compared to Classical music or Jazz. Now, such statement or claim can be countered because there are plenty of musically complex compositions in Hiphop. For example, A Tribe Called Quest instrumentals and Blackalicious instrumentals, or DJ Shadow compositions (though many have somber moods and arguably not so "happy" sounding for children, for their character development; save for another time). But even for these Hiphop composers, the argument goes, they were first exposed to the more traditional compositions such as classical music, jazz, even Soul music (with actual singing). And that allowed them to compose diversely.

     Again, does Hiphop music, strictly speaking in terms of "sound", really have a negative effect on the musical development of babies? The folklore goes that rapper Kendrick Lamar was showered with Hiphop music blasting in his father's car, right after he was born, on the way back from the hospital. And it worked out great for Kendrick because he made a career out of being a Hiphop musician. He is quite musical (his singing seems 'pitch correct' too, while he simultaneously raps). But how about for those that does not choose to become a rapper? Would a baby, listening to rap music, more likely get influenced of becoming tone-def (it is true that many rappers do rap in monotone), than other babies listening strictly perfect pitch, harmonious classical music?

This begs the question, is it physiologically proven that Hiphop has negative effects on infants or kids, and is it in fact a bad choice for kids, compared to Classical music, if we want to develop their musical ears and pitch recognition correctly?

Furthermore, is Hiphop's music actually bad for infants/babies under 3 years of age (for this question we are not talking about the positive messages that underlies Hiphop, but talking strictly of the "sound" and its effect on training the ears musically), as oppose to most parents touting the horn for classical music? If you have the answer, I would like to know; so that I can tell that one parent and those alike about it and change their minds.


a fan of all kinds of music


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