Adrian Middleton Comp I 25 Sept. 2011 Hip Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women The Hip Hop music industry is infamous for being controversial. In the article Hip Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women there’s a debate on whether the exploitation and constant verbal slander of women should be acceptable just because it sales records. It presents the question that why is it that male poverty breeds sexism?
Even though women may have lived in the same environment males still see women as the enemy in their music in an effort to sell records. If you listen to almost any rap song especially from the big time platinum selling artists, basically their lyrics are going to be about one of two things…the money they have or about bitches and hoes. Besides the fact that with today’s many technological advancements that it’s hard to be successful in the music industry with the illegal downloading, leaking etc.
If you want to make a name for yourself and maintain your fan base at the end of the day you have to sell records…Especially being a new artist you’re going to be judged heavily on how well your first single goes which ultimately determines how well your album will sale but all that’s based on if people feel your music and how well your image is put out to the public. So the dilemma comes when artist are faced with the question are you going with the norm? Or are you willing to branch out and jeopardize your career?
Many times you see artist that are labeled “one hit wonders” that can’t produce another hit and then the only way to redeem themselves it to feature themselves with a more well-known artist to help boost their credentials. So instead of taking that chance and being different and not playing into “the dominant chorus of misogyny” (Mclune 297) they easily revert back to the common vernacular mandates that are in every song as somewhat of a safety net in order to be considered a “down, hip and mainstream artist”.
As stated in the article those who decide not to join the misogynistic rap trend and actually rap about important issues or just other topics than making it rain in the club, such as Common, B. O. B or Talib Kweli, don’t receive the same recognition as a Jay-Z who stick to the “mainstream rapper stereotype” for years and at times is heavily scrutinized for his choice of lyrics but at the same time has and continue to sell millions of records. In the same token it doesn’t work the other way around when female rappers try to rap about how much money they got and about men, without them running the risk of being called a bitch,ho, dyke etc.
Besides the fact that female hip hop artist are an endangered species and barely sale as it is, unless they present themselves as a slut and show half their body in a video they become irrelevant. Sad to say people don’t want to hear a woman rap about the same thing a man would, like her in the streets, shooting people beefing with other artists etc. instead they want to hear her rap about being sexy and many women believe that that undermines the true meaning of what hip hop is because in actuality rap isn’t a porno, it’s music and your lyrical content should display who you are not being naked in a video.
Female Hip Hop artist Eve whose well-known for being one of the few successful female rap artist today, refers to herself as a “pit bull in a skirt” and was featured in a video entitled “Pigeons” which is a huge woman slandering song, which many people after seeing this was very disappointing and heartbreaking to some to see a woman associating herself with men who are disrespecting other women in the same video.
Which brings me to the example that “ the pressure of women to be hyper-femine and hyper sexual for the pleasure of men, and unless women agree to compromise their truths, self respect and unity with other women, they will be either targeted, slandered or ignored altogether. ”(Mclune 298) Regardless of the many different viewpoints that this issue presents, it’s clear that one thing remains constant is the fact that sex sales, it’s all around us in this day and age and the youth follow what they see and hear.
If they see rappers calling females out of their name with big chains and expensive cars throwing all their money in videos, then they look up to the guys they see in those videos and are going to buy in to what their seeing and hearing on the radio, on TV, on the internet, on the streets and in school regardless if it’s true just like advertisement. Even though many of the rappers that rap about misogyny sound like they live what their saying, many don’t actually believe what they’re saying they’ll still say it anyway ust to get a paycheck. Yet what a lot of the public fell to realize is that rap is about business and making money and they’ll do whatever it takes to increase their profit. Yes, a lot of what these big time record labels put out is wrong on many levels, but when their banks accounts have a lot of zero’s, they can care less about how their music is affecting young people. This situation is very multi-sided to say the least which is why I feel this article deserves to receive the Most Controversial Issue Prize