Masculinity In Yvonne Tasker's Tough Guys And Wise-Guys
661 Words3 Pages
his other facets reveal that it is not artists themselves holding back the lyricism of rap music, but rather audiences. Future’s early songwriting and disrespectful lyrics were not by choice necessarily, but out of necessity to remain relevant after his failed Honest album.
Though rap music is a genre typified by African-American urban culture, the audience of rap music is 70% young white males (Ogbar). Miles White argues that African American culture is “viewed as [an] alternative playground for members of dominant groups” such as white youth and corporations (White 20). Therefore, some white men and women might even perceive listening to hip-hop music as a way to understand and see a different culture. However, this becomes problematic…show more content… Dr. Michael Eric Dyson believes that “the notion of violent masculinity is at the heart of American identity” (Hurt 28). Furthermore, hyper-masculinity existed long before America adopted rap as its most popular music genre. Hip-hop is not too extremely different other medium’s depiction of masculinity. In Yvonne Tasker’s article, “Tough Guys and Wise-Guys”, Tasker illuminates some of the major Hollywood stars of the 80’s and 90’s action film era. Tasker discusses the rise of bodybuilders who become Hollywood actors, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger Sylvester Stallone. According to Tasker, the visual display of the actor’s body and physical toughness was essential to their identities as masculine…show more content… Another budding Atlanta based rap star, Young Thug utilizes his passion for fashion, which he says comes “first over rapping” to push gender norms. While Young Thug’s origin resides in the projects of Atlanta’s violent Zone 6 neighborhood, Young Thug displays that one can grow up in a tough environment, yet not have the stereotypical tough image typical of black masculinity. With a lanky 6’3 frame and a 27 inch waist, Young Thug began experimenting with women’s clothes at a very young age. On the cover of his most recent album Jeffrey, Young Thug is seen wearing a traditional japanese wedding dress leading to much controversy in the hip-hop community (Marc 11). The Atlanta rapper made a statement as part of his ad campaign for Calvin Klein was featured wearing a woman's look, remarking “I feel like there’s no such thing as gender,” and further “In my world, of course, it don’t matter you could be a gangster with a dress or you could be a gangster with baggy pants. (Lauren)” Of course, Young Thug isn't the first black star to challenge ideas of gender norms and race. Prince, who blurred the lines between genders his entire career,