To many, hip hop is more than just a culture. It’s a way of life. But what happens when a culture starts to dictate the way we look at ourselves and the people around us. Cultures are vastly man-made. And I say that because, cultures are simply styles, ideas, and methods that others tend to copy and make mainstream. So in that sense, culture is man-made. Culture can also be changed. But sometimes a culture becomes such a standard that to go against it, makes you stand apart and often times alienates you. So what ends up happening is that the culture is just accepted as the “way it is” and those who don’t believe usually have a hell of a time trying to change people’s minds.
I say this simply as background to my point that hip hop degrades women. And before everyone gets all upset about it lets look at the facts. Women appear in majority of hip hop videos. And in majority of those videos, they are scantily clad, viewed as objects to be bought, dumbed down to look like gold diggers and to appear lazy. The rapper with the nicest car gets to take me home tonight in it. You’ve got a lot of money so you can have me too. I’m only as good as the body part I show off. Etc. Women who appear in hip hop videos that aren’t scantily clad are usually, the exception to the rule and never the norm. In fact, the same rappers that have respectable looking women in their videos are usually the ones who are making positive statements. And usually those same artists are not rapping about the same thing.
Now I’m not going to sit here and say that women are inanimate and we don’t have minds and mouths to speak up but look at it this way. What choice do some have? Some women really are talented besides their bodies and they want to make it into the industry. But just to get on a set I swear you have to be nearly naked. To get any form of attention you have to play like an object and that is really sad. No woman could walk on the set of a rappers video in a power suit and a brief case without all the dudes thinking they were getting “served” or someone hired them a stripper. There is no happy medium in the rap game. You are either all about your business as a woman or you are a video ho. There are no average sized, middle class moms, with glasses chillen on the set of a Nelly video. (Unless his mom is there…)
I don’t think the main problem is that the women are being degraded, it’s the complacency behind it all; the fact that no one seems to care or even challenge the system except the “positive” rappers. My question is, when did the negativity take over? When did the raunchy rap take over the rap that tells a story and uplifts the nation? When did backing it up take over being a good role model? I know sex sells but damn, didn’t smart people invent our economy? (I guess not, or it wouldn’t be in shambles…….) Isn’t the sexiest thing about a woman her brain? And if you say “no” then you too are part of the problem. That woman shaking her ass in your favorite video could be your mom, sister, niece, girlfriend or aunt. And to say “my ___ is smarter than that or better than that…” does it really matter at this point? No one’s interested in a woman’s brain anyway according to our society.