Hip-hop is a culture that originated in the city of New York back in 1970. It was a culture that was easily adopted by mostly Latin-American and Afro-American youths, it is a culture that got wide recognition to the extent of spreading throughout the world. With its fascinating values it has been able to receive supporters from the world over for its values that include Rapping, Break dancing, Beat boxing, DJing, and Graffiti art according to experts who term these as the five elements of Hip-hop.
Influence of Culture
Even though culture has got lots of audience and followers who practice what the culture teaches or spreads feminists are against this culture because it is believed to be violating the rights of women, stating that the role of women in hip-hop and rap music has changed from better to worst and vise verse over the years. The hip-hop culture has projected women as sexual objects and this is highly depicted in the modern commercial hip-hop music that is currently experiencing lots of appreciation from the audience male and female alike (Massey, p. 5).
The culture has also depicted women as tough and arrogant this is portrayed in the videos where they are shown as women who abuse drugs and use dirty offensive language, the men also call them names that are disrespectful to them words such as Hoe and Bitch, and they were treated in a way that was disrespectful, in the other hand the culture has made the Black and
Latino women to be treated as sex objects just from the images that is sent out to the public through the music (Massey, p. 6).
Rap Music Today
Female complaint is commonly experienced in rap music today by the women, because they feel left out in the rap industry is dominated by the men, I support Rosé argument this is because the men are the once who, create the beats, write the rhymes, advise them and criticize ones piece of work this has led to discouraging the women to show case their talent as they will always need a self acclaimed rapper to help her achieve a name in the rap industry, they also have to provide sexual exchange in order to get a recording deal or to gain credibility and support from the rappers.
In these commercial hip-hop music videos women are portrayed as dancers whose main job is to dance around the rappers dressed in bikini with all there bodies exposed, the camera captures the body movement of the women who dance in sexy manner and portrayed as a powerless, weak and submissive people with no personality who need support from the men as compared to the past underground hip-hop music of the late 80s and early 90s (Malone, p. 2).
These images tend to hurt the image of the woman as they depict the woman as a weaker sex without dignity and a person that can’t support herself but only requires the help of the men for help either financially or physically.
The images that were being portrayed in the videos highlight the plight that the black people face, the pictures that are being shown in the videos are criticized as they tend to portray a dark side of America this in some way contra ducting with the pictures that is always portrayed of a beautiful America, the pictures also portray women in a negative manner and they are against the government that is dominated by the whites.
The lyrics that is always passed on by the rappers are all about the daily activities of the black people as they are written in a way that projects them as people who use their energy and knowledge to achieve what they have, and it is from this messages that has enabled the women and men to become aggressive in order to achieve in life.
- Malone, Vanessa. Performing Hip-Hop: Ethics, Complex Acting and Tupac Shakur in “Juice”. 2010.
- Massey, Stephen. Women in music videos Women in Music by Vanessa Malone. 2009.