I have a Love & Hate relationship with Rap & Hip-Hop.
It is at a domestic violence level and I cannot walk out of it. I cannot leave Rap & Hip-Hop, I love it! The constant verbal abuse and it’s influence on the men around me is frightening, but yet I cannot contain myself from listening to A$AP Mob, Future, Migos, etc. etc. I even like Riff Raff (right photo), Jodie Highroller? The ignorant dude who was a participant on MTV’s “From G’s to Gents”. I genuinely enjoy this ignorant music.
The worst part of it is that Rap & Hip-Hop takes pride in being “ignant”. This misogynist culture finds authenticity in the victimization of females, so why am I a dedicated fan? Because love is blinding.
Perhaps it’s the fact that it is the music I grew up on and also the culture that allowed for that music to be acceptable. I remember waking up as an elementary school kid to watch 106 & Park on BET and Sucker Free on MTV. I literally knew every Fat Joe, Dr. Dre, and Nelly song word by word and on top of that, my older siblings’ constant playing of Eazy-E, Tupac, Biggie, and Jay-Z also had me hooked. Ever since then, there was no question that Rap & Hip-Hop is one of my main loves of life. Seriously, sadly I cannot picture my life listening to other music, growing up on a different culture, other that of the hip-hop!
It is insane to think that at one point in my life, around my late elementary school and middle school years, I believed that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Rap & Hip-Hop. I thought that “Bitches Ain’t Shit” by Dr. Dre was totally true. That Eazy-E back handing a “hoe” was fine. I also believed that it was true that every girl is a “hoe” if she has sex with someone and she is also a “hoe” if she rejects someone’s sex offer.
This is where my dilemma comes in. I disagree with about 90% of the lyrics of some of my favorite songs such as “Dump Dump” by A$AP Ferg or “Female$ Welcomed” by Trinidad James, but I cannot give them up. I despise the fact that in this world of hip-hop ran by men, females are not allowed to be outspoken about their sexuality. Male rappers on the other hand, blatantly detail out their sex endeavors with women in almost every song. This then promotes a culture of sex violence against females, where men are the dominating force and females must be submissive to their “sexual nature”. For instance, Rick Ross did not give one care in the world when clearly stated that he drug-raped a female on his verse for Rocko’s ‘U.O.E.N.O.’ song, “Put molly all in her champagne, She ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, She ain’t even know it”. Although, everyone has the same exact sexual urges females are not to speak about them with pride, but rather be quiet and please the sexual desires of men or else face the consequences of being forced or slut-shamed.
I greatly admire females who have broken the status quo of hip-hop and have made their presence known. Even if I do not take a liking to their music, I respect that they have broken standards. For instance, Nicki Minaj is impressive in going out there and challenging rappers at a level of pure skill and she is also fearless in expressing her sexuality through music at the face of an entire culture that is quick to label her a “hoe” for doing so. Other female rappers who have paved the way for new female artists are Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, and Da Brat, but they are utterly outnumbered.
Ultimately, the number one reason I have this HATE for rap & hip-hop is because I see how it is not only a representation, but also a an outlet for the primitive misogynist culture that females as a whole at a universal level have been fighting for centuries to get rid of. I see it on the attitudes that loved ones have about females, with almost every single boy I went to school with, among my fellow male college peers, and even among young kids who like myself are growing up on hip-hop culture.
Exhibit A: Those dudes on Twitter who constantly slut-shame girls for being open minded about their sexuality.
Exhibit B: The small amount of female presence in hip-hop culture other than as models. Whether it is in the fashion world of hip-hop, in the media business industry, or as artists, men seem to join forces and tackle team everything within this culture.
I could go on to Exhibit Z and start the alphabet all over again just laying out examples of how much the culture of hip-hop influences its listeners and those around them.
I dream of the day where Rap & Hip-Hop will respect me, then maybe we can live happily ever after…
Photos by http://www.respectfulrappers.tumblr.com