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Rap's materialism poisons young minds

Rap's materialism poisons young minds

As students in Baltimore begin a new school year, I'm not expecting Fetty Wap, Meek Mill, Drake or any other rappers on Billboard's Top 40 to start dropping singles reminding kids about the importance of starting off the school year strong, working hard and sticking with it.

Seventeen years into teaching high school in Baltimore City, I've come to regard rap as a curse on black kids. Unhealthy messages exist in many music forms. Rap, however, has one ruinous message that is unique to the genre: unabashed, runaway materialism.

This summer popular rap videos on BET, MTV and VHI show Drake chiding teachers, "I spend a day what you make a year"; Chief Keef gloating,...