While hipsters may think the Beatles makes them above and beyond the rest, they may have to sit back and bite their tongues. That's because researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that hip-hop can be used to treat not only neurological illnesses but improve brain function. So we can assume those already listening already have higher functioning brains.
According to Daily Mail, they noted that researchers found when rappers were battling and freestyling they are stimulating four major parts of the brain at once: emotion, language, motivation, motor function and motor processing.
Cambridge has been using those findings, among others, to see how patients with various illnesses and diagnoses react to the music. For example, they found that those with Parkinson's walked better to hip-hop beats.
That's just the beginning of what Cambridge hopes to deal with when it comes to using hip-hop to heal. In fact, they have a whole area of study dedicated to it. Hip-Hop Psych's goal is to help those suffering from mental illness by using music.
Dr. Akeem Sule and Dr. Becky Inkster co-founded the program together, and for good reason. They believe that the adversity many rappers have gone through and the hope they deliver back into their lyrics is a form of "positive visual imagery" that is often used with those struggling with mental illness in therapy.
While hip-hop has gotten a bad rap since it was introduced to the world back in the ‘70s, Cambridge is looking to do away with the stigma surrounding the genre. Focusing on the rhymes and beats that offer the positivity that comes from lyricists like Tupac, Biggie, and Kendrick Lamar, they find that hip-hop has the power to heal.
Between freestyling triggering major brain functions and the positive imagery many lyrics can display, hip-hop is being seen as more than a genre loved by many. Now it's being used for medical research and science by one of the top universities in the world. It's also proving what many hip-hop fans have known all along, their music makes for a better and high brain functioning life.