Last modified on April 10, 2019, at 13:00

Debate:Is Rap music torture?

According to ABC News, suspected terrorists undergoing coercive interrogation have been " forced to listen to rap artist Eminem's 'Slim Shady' album. The music was so foreign to them it made them frantic" [1] Is this dehumanizing treatment banned by the Geneva Convention, and if not, should it be?

I suspect the detail about the kind of music was mentioned to make the treatment sound more ludicrous and less cruel. If you can encourage people to joke about whether rap music is torture, you're deflecting attention from the general character of the treatment itself.
I suspect that the significance of the music's being "foreign" is that the patterns to it are unfamiliar, and it would be preceived as unpredictable noise rather than as music.
What volume level was it played at? Was the real point to induce sleep deprivation?
If you played "music" to me at 110 db, continuously, it wouldn't really matter whether it was rap, Balinese Gamelan music, or Khachaturian's Sabre Dance, it would deprive me of sleep.
But if you say "they were subjected to intense noise" it sounds like it could be torture, whereas if you say "they were subjected to rap music," it sounds like a joke. Dpbsmith 21:23, 23 April 2007 (EDT)
What he said. I was too lazy to type it myself. As far as "torture" or banning under the GC (as if we'd pay attention to such "outdated concepts"), once you reach a certain volume level, which is easy to do in small cinder block rooms, it's not only not "music", it's simply a physical assault - it causes permanent damage, for instance. Human 00:21, 24 April 2007 (EDT)
Well at what point it causes permanent brain damage is debatable... RobS 00:37, 24 April 2007 (EDT)
Who said anything about brain damage? The effect of prolonged exposure to high sound pressure levels (for varying times and SPLs) is well documented - on the ears.
Point taken. I amend my statement. RobS 10:04, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

People can be very creative when it comes to finding new ways to harm others. - Suricou

During the invasion of Panama, when Noriega was hiding in the Vatican embasy the US blasted rap until he came out. Czolgolz 12:01, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

If it is, why do people listen to it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JessicaS (talk)

Songs by Barney the Dinosaur were also used in this capacity. While cultural barriers rendered this technique mainly ineffective at Guantanamo Bay, if this were to be used against Americans I would expect it to be a powerful coercive weapon. --Jeremiah4-22 14:21, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

West Coast rap or East Coast rap? Sterile

I kind of think that Country music can be tourture. Jason 22:37, 10 October 2007 (EDT)


It makes my ears bleed. --User:Capercorn Talk contribs 10:56, 27 November 2007 (EST)

It's annoying. All of the songs are about the same thing.--Rocky

Of course, when it is used to facilitate long term sleep deprivation. It's terrible. Nrupert 13:50, 11 December 2008 (EST)


Hiphop is a culture, valued by many in our society. Many find the abstract lyricisms and the diverse beats confusing, but its a tool for freedom of speech, and an outlet for many writers. --Codyblizzard 12:42, 28 November 2011 (EST)


As JessicaS above said, people wouldn't listen to it if it was torture. Although, I do find it rather funny that it has been used as a weapon against hostage-takers etc. SavedByGod 12:39, 13 January 2008 (EST)


It truly matters.--Aquacadet 17:35, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

It is horrible in most cases. >:( ~BCSTalk2ME 18:42, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Depends, really

"rap" is a very broad term, with TONS of subgenres and such. Theres some good rap out there, like NWA and some of the other old-school rap (which I like.). Just...don't bash an entire genre based on a single song.

But I agree that most hip-hop, or crunk music that's popular is crap. Most people who really do like rap agree.

Calling it "torture" is a bit much. However I will say that Rap music, and most popular music tributaries have been leading the front of an effort to curb instrumental effort in music. -JBall


Rap music is not torture. No music is torture. Regardless of how you may view it, or listen to it, music is the expression of the writer/singer. It is a person opening a piece of their soul to the world and saying "Look. Look at the world from my perspective for the next three minutes, and see that you are not alone in the world." It is one of the most beautiful things man creates.

That said, the way it was used was torture. For everyone involved, from the victim to the torturer to the artist whose perspective was abused to force compliance. Treadd 12:06, 16 June 2014 (EDT)