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Published: 01-12-2019

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Misogyny in the Lyrics of Rap Music

If you consider yourself a fan of rap music, you have most likely screamed the lyrics of A$AP or Kanye or Drake in your auto, but have you ever realized specifically what you are saying when you do it? A big component of rap music’s appeal is that it has lyrics that focus on quite actual controversial topics such as sex, violence, gangs, poverty, and other socioeconomic issues. But it does have a reputation for getting sexist, so I wanted to know if it was a justifiable claim to make. Is rap music sexist? To answer this query I will be hunting at 4 diverse sources who all have varying opinions on no matter whether or not rap (such as lyrics and music videos) is misogynistic. Though there are lyrics, artists and music videos out there that are very demeaning and degrading towards women, other genre’s of music are just as guilty and the customer or even society can be blamed equally for encouraging this misogynistic culture.

Rap is a relatively new genre of music, exploding in the U.S. for the duration of the 80’s following The Sugarhill Gang released their hit “Rapper’s Delight”. I take into account rap 1 of the quickest evolving genre’s. It has developed from African rhymes and chants utilised to inform stories to gangsta rap to old-college to trap in just a handful of short decades. More than these handful of decades it has been harshly criticized for it’s blunt lyrics regarding race, religion, gangs, rape, murder, sex, drugs, and violence. When N.W.A released their iconic 1st album “Straight Outta Compton” they were labeled gangstas, criminals and the most unsafe hip-hop group largely since they have been rapping about what they grew up around. Sexism has also been heavily linked to rap music because it is early days. With females becoming utilized as props in music videos and objects in lyrics, everyone has formed their opinions on the genre.

My initial supply is a content analysis of the portrayals of violence against ladies in rap music, focusing on rap in between 1987 and 1993 when gangsta rap was on the rise. It is titled Gangsta Misogyny and was written in 2001 by Edward G. Armstrong of Murray State University. Armstrong is a sociology professor and published his evaluation by means of the Journal of Criminal Justice and Well-known Culture. To conduct his evaluation, he collected 490 songs by 13 distinct artists in the course of the time period previously stated. His consideration was directed towards artists who supplied gangsta rap music’s “central repertoire”. He focused on four widespread subjects that can be heard throughout the genre of rap. These topics had been assault, rape, murder, and rape and murder. Armstrong concludes that gangsta rap music continues to teach, market, and glamorize violence and misogyny. He shows his fear of this music’s lyrics escalating by referencing a earlier article written by the New York’s Every day News, which claims that gangsta rap has caused a decline in American values. Armstrong says that the lyrics in songs written after this article’s release are significantly worse and will only get more violent and sexist.

My next supply is also a content analysis which was performed by Ronald Weitzer and Charis E. Kubrin in 2009. This write-up is titled Misogyny in Rap Music: a content material evaluation of prevalence and meanings. Weitzer is a sociology and criminology professor at George Washington University and has also written numerous books on police brutality and the sex trade business. Kubrin is a criminology professor at the University of California, Irvine and has offered a TED talk relating to whether or not rap music is threatening to society. In their analysis they also focused on particular themes that can be identified in many songs all through the genre. They claimed that common themes are derogatory naming and shaming of girls, sexual objectification against ladies, distrust of girls, legitimation of violence against ladies, and celebration of prostitution and pimping. They concluded that misogynistic lyrics are influenced by larger gender relations, the music market, and nearby neighborhood situations. They suggest that altering the content material of rap music requires changing the conditions below which it’s designed such as: socioeconomic disadvantage and connected gender relations in local communities, the material interests of the record industry, and the larger cultural objectification of women and related norms of hegemonic masculinity.

My third supply comes from popular rapper, actor and former member of N.W.A, O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube. His quote was offered to Rolling Stone in 2015 during an interview he did with former group member, Dr. Dre. Both Ice Cube and Dr. Dre were advertising the release of the movie “Straight Outta Compton” which is a biography of their lives expanding up in compton and how they rose to stardom. Ice Cube has released ten studio albums, 4 group albums, has acted in more than 40 Television shows and films and is credited with several awards. In Ice Cube’s quote he defends his lyrics and the lyrics of his former group mates by suggesting that their lyrics are not directed at all girls but at particular groups of women or folks.

My final supply was written in the type of a blog post entitled “The Reasons I Do not Get Offended by Sexist Rap Lyrics as a Feminist”. It was written in 2016 by Riley Von Niessen who is a writer and editor for the internet site trendhunter.com. Niessen, pondering along the exact same lines as Ice Cube, argues that listening to graphic music that makes use of misogynistic language does not imply you advocate violence against ladies. She says that rap is just another type of art and the lyrics shouldn’t be taken personally. She states, “phonetically speaking, bitch is a beautiful word. It has excellent emphasis, it is straightforward to rhyme, and I don’t consider it to be gender certain soon after being entirely desensitized to what ever offensive meaning it is supposed to have.” She says that taking these lyrics to heart is irrational. She compares the blaming of Marilyn Manson for the columbine shooting to the blaming of rap music for violent and sexist behavior. It appears ridiculous. Lastly she points out that the radio’s censoring of derogatory terms for girls can occasionally be a lot more offensive. For example, employing “chick” rather of “bitch”.

Now, seeking back at my first supply, the evaluation of gangsta rap written by Edward G. Armstrong, it is clear exactly where he stands. He thinks rap lyrics are out of manage and that the genre in general is poor. Despite the fact that he is a credible source and has a vast amount of data and references in his evaluation, he fails to consider that these artists are not just rapping to make a profit, but that a lot of of them are rapping about how they grew up and from different perspectives. He also puts all the blame on the business and the artists, but a song doesn’t make it on the charts without the listener.

In contrast to my first supply, the second supply I talked about puts a fair quantity of blame on the consumer and society’s misogynistic views. This supply is also extremely credible and does a good job of explaining the results of their analysis and how it was conducted. They use examples of sexist lyrics from Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G. and much more. I agree with their stance on the subject. Sexism in this music is a dilemma, but it is also a dilemma in society. In order for artists to change the way they speak about and portray girls, we need to have to adjust the fact that that is the kind of music we are demanding.

Ice Cube is naturally biased when it comes to rap music. He is a respected artist in this genre but his credibility is lessened by his use of profanity. In his quote he seems to disregard the fact that his and his group mate’s songs target the basic population of females with lyrics like, “but all females have a small bitch in ’em/ it’s like a disease that plagues their character” and “women, they’re great for absolutely nothing, no maybe one particular factor/ to serve wants to my ding-a-ling.” I agree with him in the aspect that it shouldn’t usually be taken personally, even so, I think that it should be addressed.

My last supply argued that even as a feminist, we should not take these lyrics personally and that no adjust demands to be implemented by the artists or industry. Even though she may possibly not be as credible as the other sources, she makes a lot specific claims to support her stance. For example, she says that other genre’s of music are just as sexist as rap. She uses Meghan Trainor’s hit “Dear Future Husband” which involves lines like, “cause if you treat me proper/ I’ll be the best wife/ acquiring groceries/ getting what you need” to show that lyrics in other genre’s from FEMALE artists can be just as sexist. Even so, the author of this weblog post underestimated the influence of music and underestimated societies potential not to let it influence them.

Rap music is as common as ever and I agree that other genres are just as misogynistic as rap, but I do not feel we can ignore that it is there. Rap music is influential and has had the power to normalize degrading terms like “hoe” and “bitch” which is why we want to make certain that misogyny does not become the major theme heard all through this genre. It is just as significantly the consumer’s fault as it is the artist’s and industries for encouraging this sexism in rap music and culture.
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