Young Americans like rap, older Americans hate it – but few of any age think that rappers make good role models
At the end of February President Obama unveiled a new program that targets young men of color to improve educational attainment, widen access to good jobs and knock down the racial barriers than remain for young men. The program, known as 'My Brother's Keeper', will shepherd private funds to a range of social programs.
The project hasn't escaped criticism however, with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly telling key presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett that if they really wanted to help young men of color – particularly young black men – the Obama administration "are going to have to get people like Jay-Z, all right, Kanye West, all of these gangsta rappers to knock it off", saying that they make poor role models and that the behavior of rappers is actually the "fundamental disease" underneath the problems faced by young men of color.
The latest research from YouGov shows that only 13% of Americans think that rap musicians are positive role models for young black men. 76%, and a majority of every demographic, say that rap musicians are negative role models. However, while nearly nine in ten (88%) over-65s say rap musicians are negative role models, only 61% of under-30s say so.
Under-30s are also the only group that tends to have a favorable (46%) rather than unfavorable (44%) opinion of rap music. Older Americans in particular seem to intensely dislike rap music, with 57% of over-65s having a 'very unfavorable' opinion of rap music.
Full poll results can be found here.