So, I’m pretty sure that there are many many intelligent women out there, who, as I do, love hiphop. I mean I know there are! But this is something I always feel really awkward about bringing up, because I don’t have any answers to the really obvious questions. My mum (yes thanks for making me feel so guilty for years) annoyingly managed to bring up the topic every time I listened to hiphop in her presence, which was most days when I still lived with her. The usual points are, hiphop is totally misogynistic! Hiphop treats women as hoes and bitches and nothing more! It objectifies women! and so on.
I know this is true and there are many examples of dickheads rapping about women in the most disgusting way possible (lil wayne, tyler the creator, rick ross, etc. etc. etc.) there are lyrics referring to rape, using women, referring to them as hoes, the list is endless. But I think there has to be a distinction. Although technically Jurassic 5, De La Soul, and others are of the same genre as said douchebags mentioned above, I feel there’s a line distinguishing what may be acceptable as hiphop lingo that’s not to be misunderstood for an emotionally charged message, and what’s clearly just an insult. This line is thin and wavy, or so I like to think. I like to think this because sometimes there are rappers I really like who’s songs have clever and deep lyrics that you could really just read out as poetry, who then turn around and so a song like “dem bitches should all get low and suck my @£%>!” and I’m like no. Why did you just?! ugh so then I have to pretend that I’ve never heard that particular song in order to justify continuing to listen to the rest of their stuff.
The problem with this is that its assigning certain values to famous people, like oh this rapper must be a feminist because of all of this deep stuff he’s gone through and raps about with a woman he loved and appreciated deeply. But realistically they’re just human being expressing themselves. I’m not sure if the world were scrutinising me my every action would be in accordance to my self-proclaimed “values”! Have I done unfeministic things? Yes, and I’m a woman. The difference is of course that these people have become famous, and role-models in the process. We expect role-models to show us how to do things properly, not how to talk to a woman so disgustingly that she’ll have a breakdown.
Conclusion: should I love hiphop? I have no clue, but I do! Some rappers (lupe “hurt me soul”, big krit “children of the world”, and others) try and tackle the issue which is great but what about all the rest of the BS in hiphop, what do we do about that?!