Some Thoughts on Rap Music

PureInsight | June 11, 2001

Most of today’s modern music is full of oppositions to Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance, (Zhen Shan Ren). “The great noise has entered the hall of great elegance. A blind or lame person with a hoarse voice and an ugly appearance will become a singing star with the help of the radio or television.” (Zhuan Falun, volume 2, Mankind in the Ending Period of Catastrophe) But since people swim in it they can’t tell how distorted it really is. “Those who drift along with the current of everyday people cannot realize the extent of humanity’s moral corruption. So some people even thinking things are good.” (Zhuan Falun pg 349)

Before starting my journey of cultivation, I used to listen to rap music. I thought, classical, pleasant, serene music was far inferior to today’s new age rock and rap. The concept I had before I started cultivation was that our culture had improved in many aspects, which included the advent of modern rap music. Before reading Zhuan Falun, I indeed felt that some rap and other music were very vulgar and bad because of the obvious cussing language and connotations toward killing. However, after further understanding through reading Zhuan Falun, I have realized that even the ‘rap’ I had thought was not vulgar was actually completely opposite from the characteristics of the universe. Now I understand that Zhang Guolao (one of the Eight deities talked about in Zhuan Falun) indeed rode his donkey backwards for very good reasons. The present rap music represents low morality because of its deviation from Zhen Shan Ren. “People just go after the mental stimulation and will do anything for that craving”(Zhuan Falun, Martial Arts Qigong)

As my xinxing (mind/heart quality) increased, I came to a rational understanding that the content of the rap music I used to listen to was inappropriate. The music was full of money, power, fame, violence, killing, sex, and drugs. Rap music even fosters competition between varying musicians. From my understanding of Mr. Li Hongzhi’s teaching: A person is like a container and will become whatever he/she is filled with. I realize, that whatever, I listen to, watch, read, or learn about, will become my thoughts. Therefore, my actions, language, and all the things I do will reflect what my head is filled with. As a cultivator, studying the Fa with a clear mind, everyday, ensures that my head is filled with nothing but Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

A phenomenon that has also struck me is the way in which the louder rock and rap are played, the better. It is as though the listener wants to let go of their constraints, and discipline and be immersed in the music. The key point lies in how this disrupts human morality by leaving out constraints. In other words, not being in control, letting demon nature take control. How can a person observe moral standards if his demon nature is large and in control? “If mankind does not observe human moral standards, society will be in uncontrollable chaos, with natural calamities and man-made disasters” (Essentials for Further Advancement, Buddha-Nature and Demon-Nature) Therefore, human morality is extremely important. If rap music helps with the decline of morality, then isn’t it doing damage?

This is my understanding, please point out anything incorrect.

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