it’s no secret that the film industry has an undeniable problem
with complicity when it comes to the sexual harassment and abuse of
women–less talked about is the music industry’s
complicity and role in adding to the stories of Me Too.
love hip hop–so this isn’t an assault on hip hop. But as
a self respecting Black conscious woman in America, there’s
very little of what is being peddled today as hip hop that I can
listen to guilt free.
almost all of the songs on Billboard’s
Hot Rap Songs
chart including “Rockstar” by Post
“Gucci Gang,” Yo
“Rake It Up,” Migos’
“Motorsport” and even Cardi
“Bodak Yellow” all refer to women as “bitches”
or “hoes” in their lyrics.
compiles their charts by counting radio airplay, digital download
sales, streaming data and YouTube views of rap songs. And let me
tell you, men aren’t the only ones buying and listening to rap
music in America.
women of color we can’t rally for women’s empowerment and
the right of women to live lives free of sexual harassment and abuse
and jump in our cars and turn on songs with lyrics that assault our
is it that Black men who abuse Black women are still able to succeed
with the help of Black women while men who attack white women are
Black women, I doubt that R.
“Heartbreak On A Full Moon” would be number one
Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
even though rapper XXXTentacion
is about to go to trial on multiple charges of domestic violence
after his ex-girlfriend alleges that he strangled her and beat her
for cheating on him while she was pregnant with his child–that
didn’t stop Capitol Music Group from signing him for $6 million
while his songs continue to climb the charts.
me put this into another perspective for you.
the very real possibility of white women boycotting any film produced
by the Weinstein Co. and concern that Harvey
might make a profit from any deals cut to save the company from
bankruptcy, several investment groups are refusing to come to the
the other hand, you have music industry executives chomping at the
bit to sign deals with rappers (even those awaiting trial on domestic
violence) whose sexist and misogynist laden lyrics add to America’s
rape culture. Why? Because they know that even in this new wave of
women’s empowerment, they’ll make ten times the money
spent in profits. Unlike white women, Black women will either look
the other way or like in the case of R. Kelly–blame the
2017, it cannot be socially acceptable to complain about racism
freely and point out the sexual misconduct in the film industry but
not to criticize a rapper’s sexism and misogyny simply because
it’s “art” and we like the song.
like comedian Wanda
correctly pointed out that actor Kevin
doesn’t get to “hide under the rainbow” after
coming out as gay in the face of charges that he seduced a
minor–rappers with lyrics that refer to women as “bitches”
and “hoes” shouldn’t get to hide behind the title
of artist and creative expression.
the rappers themselves to the music industry executives, sadly, today
hip hop is an artform that is making billions of dollars off of
degrading, humiliating, abusing, harassing and championing sexual
violence against women.
women of color we have to stop admiring and supporting these artists
and then pleading ignorance to what they’re saying or making
excuses for them because those are the same songs that make up the
soundtrack to us not being able to walk to the park without getting
catcalled by some man driving by, or you being called a bitch because
you don’t respond to some man’s unsolicited advances. Or
some stranger pulling up to me in public with impunity and freely
commenting on my ass or some other part of my body–because in
communities of color that behavior is an accepted societal norm.
it’s truly time to focus on the systems that allow sexual
violence to flourish then we have to be willing to talk about all of
it and that includes our continued support and glorification of rape
culture and sexual violence in rap music. This is only something that
women of color–particularly Black women can address in context
to the Me Too movement–because after all, it’s Black
women who they’re referring too, it’s Black women who
support these rap artists in numbers and it’s Black women who
have to deal with the effects of these lyrics in our communities.
like you can’t raise a healthy child smoking cigarettes around
them everyday, parents, you can’t raise young sons into men who
respect women and young girls into self respecting women when they’re
watching you sing along and shake your ass to songs with lyrics that
are telling them the opposite.
the words of Lauryn Hill: Babygirl, respect is just a minimum.