Four reasons why (unfortunately) degrading women makes hit rap songs
Referring to women as property up for examination, barter and generally up for grabs are often topics for hit songs in hip-hop culture. One need not look much farter than rising Maybach Music Group emcees Meek Mill and Wale for evidence, as their latest single with French Montana from MMG’s Selfmade 2 compilation album, “Actin’ Up” continues a fine tradition. With a hook of “These hoes be actin’ up, cause these n***as be letting them,” it may be the most misogynistic lyric of 2012. Sadlly, hip-hop is a city inside of a state called the music industry which is a part of a country called economy located on a globe called life. The evolution of controversial topics and events are nothing but a microcosm of the lives the artists live or wish to live. That being said, here are four reasons of ultimately why the degradation of women makes for hit rap songs.
This is all a game of bitches and hoes. The music industry ‘s seemingly patriarchal slant, it can be argued, spins Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y” proclamation of “you’re not a bitch or a hoe” into often questioning females who object with a separating question: “Are you a bitch or a hoe? If not, we’re not talking to you.” Continuing the conversation, Salt-N-Pepa’s “None of Your Business” could be construed as “she’s in multiple sexual relationships and trying to hide it.” A lack of balance in the numbers of male and female industry, radio and marketing executives perpetuates these notions. Without advocacy, female artists often end up pressed to choose a side. When Lil Kim turned the phrases “bitch” and “hoe” into sexy mantras for beauty, the ability for non-demeaning pop female lyricism to excel at the top of the charts disappears. As a society where women were initially denied the right to vote, the nation was built on what tickles men’s fancies. Once hyper-sexualized and demeaned, womenare arguably left figuratively tickling because fancy is always entertaining.
Perpetuating what women already think of themselves draws them into the music
On Drake’s 2012 hit single “No Lie,” 2 Chainz says he bought his girl “bigger tits and a bigger ass,” and with a video featuring women lavishing themselves upon the emcee, it can only be assumed she both needed and liked them. Intriguingly, this acceptance strikes an even heavier chord in the notion of inherent female insecurities are used to sell popular music. The entangling web of inner vs. outer beauty often starts with the matriarch of a family. Whether a parent allows commercial images of beauty to be the only defining factor upon which attractiveness is achieved it important. In the current generation, rap music is the most widely disseminated commercial form of entertainment. A parade of small framed, big booty, long haired, smooth skinned women in videos beckon the salivating teenage boy to believe that the teenage girl needs this look too. As a result the teenage girl tries this look on for size. If this look works for the developing female she parties to the music because it describes her. If this look does not work for the developing female she parties to the music because she is allowed to get lost in yearning for the look she desires. What a woman wants to be then becomes entertainment.
Sexy always wins
In the digital age, the lines of being conservatively sexy and liberally sexy have been crossed and erased forever. Even the green M & M is Mars’ commercial campaigns is sexy. Sex is a natural bodily function that we all have in common. If you can’t be sold on a product because it’s being promoted by someone of a particular race, gender, background the media can always play the sexy card. Everyone wants to be sexy. In hip-hop, women gyrating around poles, shaking ass in a club and sensually getting out of cars is such a commonplace occurrence that arguably, the music industry has mastered the art of making all of our choices sexy by defining them with variations on clear themes: sex and sexy women.
Quantity and great beats
MMG does not stand for Maybach Music Group. Obviously, from the label’s 2012 lyrical content, the letters represent Misogyny, Machismo and Grit. From “hoes acting up” to “looking like a bag of money” they are working diligently at being the top source of silly and degrading hip-hop cultural statements. A solid portion of MMG’s best commercial output features themes of male dominance wherein the man has determined that he can compare this woman to something that is totally unrelated to femininity and she will actually consider herself as this thing. As soon as a woman entertains the idea that looking like a bag of money is appealing to a man she then decides to make this a good thing. If “these hoes be acting up” and Wale has determined it’s not sexy the action of “acting up” will be something that she is not supposed to do. These absurd notions set to a great beat allows both educated and pedestrian-minded people alike to totally ignore these lyrics, leading to increased mainstream proliferation of these ideas. Simply put, Maybach makes ignorance rhythmic and sexy, and their artists are arguably too busy laughing with a bank teller to care.
In conclusion, as soon as we get over the fact that one hit song was filled with so many bitches, hoes and bags of money, there’s another song in rotation saying the same thing. If you wonder why women are always in defense of womanhood it’s because we are consistently asked to question it’s value. If a woman cries because she’s demeaned, is it better to use it as a sample, or does she not even make a sound?