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Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Here’s for the Bitches": An Analysis of Gangsta Rap and Misogyny

"Even though it is not the black community that financially empowers these young gangsta rap artists (by funding their hate lyrics), it is the black community that raises and nourishes them. Gangsta rappers constantly try to identify with the inner-city black community and the urban experience. Traditionally, they have been able to preserve their status within their communities because they bring a segment of the black experience to the public. The truth is, however, that once a gangsta rapper becomes successful, he is no longer a part of the world he raps about: He has become a member of the black privileged class. No longer a member of the impoverished class, he now must overcompensate for his wealth in order to retain the acceptance of his community....

"Gangsta rappers are often quoted as saying that they merely depict life as they see it. A more accurate description of what gangsta rappers depict is a stereotypical fantasy in which black women do as they are told. Perhaps the most ironic observation I can make is that if gangsta rappers were white, the reaction from the black community would be very different....

"Typically, gangsta rappers use sexist and misogynistic lyrics for three reasons. First, they are selfish and seek to empower only themselves. Second, they put business before art: Songs with misogynistic lyrics sell millions of CDs and tapes. Sales mean money. Money means power. Finally, gangsta rappers reinterpret their experiences into a packageable product that can sell. They peddle half-truths and fantasies that formulate a stereotypical mythology in which all black women are bitches and/or all gangsta rappers live the life of driving sports cars, collecting thong-wearing, gyrating women, and smoking chronic....

"In the end, this whole argument boils down to the fact that misogyny is ingrained into our culture and we allow it. We buy CDs and go to concerts where gangsta rappers call black women "bitches" and "hos." It is not just black women who are victimized. Since gangsta rappers disrespect our mothers, sisters, and daughters, every black man is a victim. "

Go to http://www.uga.edu/~womanist/rhym2.1.htm

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Booker T. Washington said:

"There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs....There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

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