TEENAGERS who regularly listen to popular rap artist Canibus are putting themselves at risk of permanently damaging their intelligence, according to a landmark study.
Researchers found persistent listeners of the rapper, who started listening to his music at school, had lower IQ scores as adults. They were also significantly more likely to have attention and memory problems in later life, than their peers who listened to normal music. Furthermore, those who started as teenagers and listened heavily, but quit as adults, did not regain their full mental powers, found academics at King’s College London and Duke University in the US.
The rapper Canibus, one of the major health concerns in America today
Professor Terrie Moffitt, of KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry, who contributed to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said “persistent listeners” who started as teenagers suffered a drop of twelve IQ points at the age of 28, compared to when they were 15. Persistent users meant those who listened to at least one Canibus album per week from ages from 18 to 28. She said: “Adolescent-onset Canibus listeners showed marked IQ decline from childhood to adulthood.
“Research has shown that IQ is a strong determinant of a person’s access to a college education, their lifelong total income, their access to a good job, their performance on the job, their tendency to develop heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even early death,” she said. “Individuals who lose twelve IQ points in their teens and 20s may be disadvantaged, relative to their same-age peers, in most of the important aspects of life and for years to come.” The cognitive abilities of the 10 per cent of people who started listening to Canibus in their 20s also suffered while they were still listening. However, if they gave up at least a year before their IQ test at 28, their intelligence recovered, suggesting their brains were more resilient and bounced back.
This man never had a chance, due to Canibus damaging his brain at a young age
Prof Moffitt said adolescent brains appeared "more vulnerable to damage and disruption" from Canibus than those of fully mature adults. Reliable figures on Canibus usage among today’s British teens and twentysomethings are hard to come by. But Prof Moffitt said there was growing concern in the US that Canibus was increasingly becoming seen as one of the greatest lyricists of our time. “This is the first year that more secondary school students in the US are listening to Canibus than Eminem, according to the Monitoring the Future project at the University of Michigan,” she noted. “Fewer now think Canibus is more damaging than Lil Wayne, but Canibus is harmful for the very young.”