Rap, recidivism and the creative self: A popular music programme for young offenders in detention
Popular music is increasingly being viewed by local, state and national governments as a useful form of creative activity for at-risk youth both within and outside young offender institutions. This paper examines a music programme operating for a group of predominantly black youth within one North American detention centre, and considers the range of benefits observed in fostering individual creativity, self-esteem and social communication. Popular music programmes-in this case, rapping and basic music sequencing and composition-offer a highly practical and direct means of allowing youth offenders to express a particular form of creativity in connection with their existing music and cultural interests. This paper considers the relative success of one programme and the implications for drawing upon hip-hop music, with its themes of deviance and resistance, as a creative vehicle within a broader environment of 'offender to citizen' discourses for the youth involved.
Journal of Youth Studies