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.
Music and society have always been closely related. For years now music has been apart of people’s everyday lives all around the world. Having so many different genres out there, it makes it easy to be appealing to so many different ethnic backgrounds. However, one type of genre in particular has seemed to grab the attention of a younger generation. Rap music has undoubtedly had its utmost impact on African American youth, since many of the performers themselves are African American. An overtly masculine culture dominates rap music and creates gender stereotypes that become abundantly popular to the youthful audience. Three constant themes that are found within the rap culture are encouragement of violence, the misogynistic representation of women, an extreme hatred of homophobia. Each theme plays a detrimental role in the process of defining black masculinity as well as shaping the values, morals, and beliefs that its younger audience adopts after tuning into this “gangster lifestyle”.
From wearing cupcake bra outfits to performing in a lavish swimsuit, Katy Perry has demonstrated how women in the music industry use sex appeal to captivate their audience. In today’s society, it isn’t uncommon to see female artists in revealing, flashy outfits surrounded by flashing lights and steam. Artists such as Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj have certainly made news headlines for their audacious performances. In many cases, artists are presenting false images to their fans as an investment for future sales. Female artists continue to be sexually objectified by their audience, which increase their viewership, which leads to record labels pressuring artists to keep a sexy image.
The misogynistic treatment of women in commercialized rap has become a widespread phenomenon which as a result has become commonly accepted by majority of the individuals in society. Rappers, in general, nowadays use women in their videos in a way which is both derogatory and exploiting. Black men in today’s society, especially in the entertainment industry, do not see women as their equals; rather they objectify them as being nothing more than sex objects. People in the Hip Hop industry do not believe that sexism and misogyny is as big of a deal as racism, thus they push this issue to the side by simply ignoring it and learning to accept it. This misogynistic portrayal of women is ruining the image if Hip Hop as both an industry and a form of expressive art. However, instead of taking action against this atrocity, many women simply believe that the images of women and their portrayal in rap videos does not represent nor refer to them as an individual and the type of woman they truly are. By being silent these women are allowing themselves to be victimized by the men of not only the Hip Hop industry but also general society. By not having a say in this matter of the false classification and portrayal of women, they are voluntarily allowing men to do whatever they please to do so, in any given time and with any approach they feel is necessary. They do not
In the essay, “Hip-Hop’s Betrayal Of Black Women”(221), by Jennifer McLune, she vents her feelings regarding hip-hop songs that are rhythmically diminishing the value of black women. She provides example on how the lyrics are being voiced and how hip-hop artists do not seem to care. Kevin Powell in “Notes of a Hip Hop Head” writes, “Indeed, like rock and roll, hip-hop sometimes makes you think we men don’t like women much at all, except to objectify them as trophy pieces or, as contemporary vernacular mandates, as baby mommas, chicken heads, or bitches” (221). There have been apologizes for what the rappers have said but nothing to resolve the dehumanization of black women. McLune informs the readers that hip-hop singers belittle black women and make them invisible. Jay-Z, a popular hip-hop artist is brought to center stage by McLune. The essay shows the example of a part of Jay-Z song that says, “I pimp hard on a trick, look Fuck if your leg broke bitch hop on your good foot” (222). This lyric is a perfect example of how hip-hop artist have no remorse in the words they sing. The hurt feelings and loss of self-esteem black women suffer, is of no concern to the rappers. McLune expresses that those who are underground hip-hop artist follow the footsteps on being sexist and using crude words in their lyrics just because they yearn and dream of being in the spotlight. Upcoming rappers want to be loved like Jay-Z and other famous notorious rappers.
This study works to examine the use of sexual objectification of women in music videos today. The primary purpose was to examine the differences between genres, specifically hip-hop and country. I tested the following; Women are more likely to be sexualized in hip-hop music videos than in country music videos.
In her article “The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto: Negotiating Spaces for Women,” Imani Perry argues that the objectification of women in the music industry is normalized in our society. Her purpose is to persuade us that most feminists who fight against the objectification and exploitation of women are ultimately colonized by the sexual fantasies of men. As a law professor at Rutgers Law School, Perry structures her text in a very effective manner. Using a general-to-specific organization scheme, she begins by outlining the recurring image of sexualized women in music videos, then presenting various cases of prominent feminist figures in the music industry.
In Joan Morgan’s article “Fly-Girls, Bitches and Hoes: Notes of a Hip Hop Feminist”, she shows the way rap music has changed through it popularity. The widespread appreciation of rap had negative impacts upon the black community. Morgan talks about this through her Feminist point of view. She focuses the topic on what rap music says about the African American culture in Hip Hop. Rap music and Hip Hop were invented through the pain of African Americans. Hip Hop and the Rap industry use sexism and machoism to express the long years of oppressive pain they went through by the hands of the white people. Especially for the black brothers who continue that oppression by using provocative words that degrade the black sisters. Morgan states that blame isn’t only on the brothers
Sexualisation is a way that mass media, celebrities or advertising can make young or old people, especially young girls, become more provocative in the way that they speak, dress and behave
The above article discusses a study conducted that tested whether exposure to rap music increases sexism within males. The study did not give any direct concrete evidence that rap music causes misogyny. Yet it brought up some useful insights that were supported by the study. Initially, they discovered that listening to non-sexist songs still led to some type of sexist behavior. This finding is relevant as it shows that it might not solely be the lyrics that are responsible for sexism within music. People can be instinctively associating rap music with being misogynistic. Another finding was that misogynistic lyrics prime young males to behave sexually aggressive temporarily. This reading is important for this topic as it disregards the popular belief that rap music causes sexism, but it also takes in account that rap music can prime young males to be slightly more aggressive. While this study cannot be used to promote any type of censorship in media, it can still encourage the music industry to reevaluate the material they are launching to public, especially the young generation.
It is suggested that one of the reasons why artists use misogynistic lyrics in their music is that they have internalized the negative stereotypes about women that are prevalent in American society. African women were historically portrayed as animalistic sexual beasts and African males in a submissive role, giving in to wild instinct or bodily impulses. The internalization of such stereotypes may be a possible explanation of the hyper sexuality within certain hip hop music. Various authors have argued that misogyny is merely an outgrowth of the cultural acceptance of misogyny at large.
Recently the song White Privilege II by Macklemore has caused much controversy because of the fact that it called out specific artists such as Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus, but not because of the actual problem it was trying to address- white privilege. However, there are plenty of songs on the top charts about pointless things spreading around unfavorable messages such as enforcing negative stereotypes and gender roles through their lyrics, music videos, and even the artists themselves participating it. Younger audiences should be educated about the negative effects of sexualization because it is shown commonly through pop music in song lyrics, music videos, and how artists represent themselves. The fact that sexualization is often present
Rap music is filled with imagery that degrades women. Women are continually referred to inappropriately in many songs, while men refer to themselves and other as pimps or players. Women are not only referred to by derogatory names, they are frequently lowered to sex objects for entertainment. The common idea of a woman in a rap video is one who is half naked while dancing flirtatiously and seductively behind, or in front of the rapper. Many female rappers make public appearances dressed inappropriately, their clothing is always revealing and skin tight, they have unfortunately accepted and entertained this idea. Young girls see these women as role models. As female rappers conform and accept their roles as sex objects they are making it socially acceptable and the young girls who see them as role models and look up to them think
Misogyny and degradation of women is present in almost every genre of music, yet the one genre that completely revolves around demeaning women is rap. Over the years rap and rap music videos have continually become more sexual and degrading towards women. Rap has been criticized numerous times for this reason, and that is because rap is one of the most popular genres of music for the younger generations. It is more than a genre of music, it is a complete industry filled with clothing and other merchandise. The reason this constant demeaning of women exists is because rap as a genre that rewards the objectification of women. The excuses used to justify the misogyny in rap are incomplete and lack accurate support. The most effective way
The 1980’s consisted of several historical events and societal changes that have been relived though the lyrics of many young hip-hop artists. Of the numerous genres of songs, hip-hop has been labeled as of the most relatable genres. During this 1980’s, many of the songs that were written by male hip-hop artist tend to focus on the relationship aspect of male and female interactions. This finding is similar to what was stated in Frith’s article (1986) that most successful pop songs were about being “happy in love” and “frustrated in love” as well as having a sex interest (p. 78). Instead of using derogatory terms to describe women, men felt the need to use more delicate and gentle terms. Through their music, artists portrayed women as individuals who provide love, support, happiness and fulfillment to a man’s life. Furthermore, male artists portrayed themselves as men who weren’t afraid to express their emotions, admit their dependency on women, and their willingness to do what it takes to keep a woman. There were no signs of hypermasculinity or dominance in the first few songs