Lyrical stresses of heavy metal and rap | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2052-3998
  • E-ISSN: 2052-4005



Two hundred and ten college students were played either a rap or heavy metal version of a song and surveyed to determine lyrical recollection and comprehension of the song’s themes. Students who heard the heavy metal version paid less attention to the song’s themes and had worse lyrical recollection. This data strengthens the argument that heavy metal music has a lesser lyrical stress than rap. Consequently, a ‘gangsta’ heavy metal song is less likely to be repeated, taken to heart and acted upon than a gangsta rap song. This finding offers important support for a non-race-based theory explaining the disproportionality between criticism of gangsta heavy metal music and gangsta rap music.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): attentiveness; heavy metal; lyrical stress; misogyny; rap; recollection
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