Rap has a bad rap because it has been blamed for teen drug problems, violence and other antisocial behavior. Some vulnerable young adults exposed to gangsta rap, for example, have allegedly responded by committing violent acts and other crimes. This music genre, in particular, has received criticism from religious leaders and others and remains controversial.
But like any word, song, artÂ or action, rap can be negative, neutral or positive. Some rap lyrics carry socio-political messages, not unlike some suggested in works of art.
Sam Kojoglanian, MD, aka Dr. Rap, has witnessed first hand in emergency rooms what drugs and violence can do to our youth and families. So he has chosen to communicate his anti-drug anti-violence message using rap music as the vehicle to reach America’s youth at churches, schools, youth centers and prisons.
Known as the “mender of hearts,” Dr. Rap is an interventional cardiologist, honored November 7, 2008, as the first board-certified interventional cardiologist in Santa Clarita, California. Sam Kojoglanian, of Armenian descent,Â was born in Jerusalem and came to the US when he was in the 4th grade.Â He remembers wanting to be a heart doctor since he was 5.
In an interview on TCT Alive Channel 61 in Greensborough, North Carolina, he expressed that he believed vehementlyÂ he was “called by God to touch the heart and touch the soul. ” He wanted to reach teens but felt “sometimes they don’t want to listen. ” So he began to rap to an audience of teens because to “speak their language touches their hearts and souls.”
He spoke about how counselors had told him he wouldn’t make it into medical school, and he was rejected 27 times over the course of 3 years. But he didn’t give up. He talked about the importance of persevering. “Part of success is failure, “he said. One reason he preaches the Gospel is because he says when you feel down, the Word brings joy.”
His first CD “Licensed to Heal” was released in 1996. His next CD was entitled “Cut to the Heart.” He has also written three books.Â
Diana Clarke is a certificated teacher and health educator. Her articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News. Visit her website at http://yourskinandsun.com
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