The Things we Don't Notice About Rap(e) Culture
While this may be an opinion that is heavily contradicted and seldomly talked about among teenagers, it is one that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
As a little preface, I believe that there are positives of rap music as well as rap culture. It is a medium for many struggling artists to become successful musicians and it showcases the talent of many people who don’t have privileged upbringings. Take Notorious B.I.G., raised by a single mother; Kendrick Lamar of Compton, Los Angeles; Nicki Minaj who had an impoverished upbringing; and A$AP Rocky, who spent two years living in homeless shelters.
Many people, including myself, listen to and enjoy Rap and Hip-Hop music. There is a sense of strong power and energy to this genre of music, at least that is how I can describe my reaction to it and the reaction that I witness in my friends.
With these strengths mentioned, it is also important to point out some flaws. While the remainder of this article may be seen as an overgeneralization of Rap culture by some people, I intend to shed light on some examples of lyrics that may seem rare, but share similar messages as songs with more subtle lyrics. I also realize that other genres of music are just as misogynistic in their messages, however I decided to just focus on Rap, as it is a popular genre among teenagers.
Lots of Rap lyrics romanticize violent behaviour towards women and in some cases, even rape. Take these lyrics as examples:
“My grandmother sucked my d*ck and I didn’t come…I smacked this wh**e for talking crack, so what if she’s handicapped…I’ll rape you while Dr. Dre video tapes you (hell yeah!)” - Fight Music by D12
“Put Molly all in her champagne/She ain't even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/She ain't even know it.” - Rick Ross
“Rape a pregnant bi**h and tell my friends I had a threesome.” - Tyler, the Creator
“And if you got a daughter older than 15, I'mma rape her/Take her on the living room floor, right there in front of you/Then ask you seriously, what you wanna do?” - DMX
"Sl*t, you think I won't choke no wh**e / Til the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?!" - Eminem
“Met her at 10, fu***d that girl at 11” - Lil Uzi Vert
“Pulled my zipper down, whipped out my d*** and made her suck it I'm rammin my d*** inside of her mouth and tryin to make her choke” - Kool G Rap
Lots of Rap lyrics also objectify women. In many cases, women are seen as prizes and even referred to as ‘trophies’ (Like in “I won” by Future and Kanye West). While other genres of music also objectify women, Rap music comes with a culture of men seeking validation through women. They compare their ‘prizes’ with other men and ultimately try to possess as many women as possible for a higher status and self-esteem.
“I'm f***in' her friends now her friends ain't even f***in' wit her” - Lil Wayne
“I just want to f*** every girl in the world, every model, every singer, every actress, every diva,” - Young Money
“You should see the whip, promise I can take yo bitch” - Post Malone
“I was finna f*** your b***h, my n***a then I got lazy (ugh)” - Lil Yachty
Because after I’m done I’m like “NEXT!” - Tray Dee
“All my young boys round me saying, ‘Get money and f*** these hoes’ - Drake
F*** you and whoever came witcha’ - 2 Chainz
Many rappers act as if they own women and women are mere objects. Gender roles are framed as a woman’s purpose is to obey the desires of men, and men are encouraged to show control over women.
“And what are all your names, again? we drunk, remind us.” - Young Money
“If she let me in, I'm a own that p***y, go on' throw it back and bust it open like you 'posed to.” - Young Money
“I hit the strip club and all them b****es find a pole” - Lil Wayne
“One more f*** and I can own ya.” - Kanye West
“Maybe for the money and the power and the fame right now, she will, she will, she will uh - Lil Wayne
Some examples could have also been pulled from other genres like Rock and Pop music, but I think that Rap more so than other genres encourages blatant violence and possession of women. Some rap music can be completely different than the examples that I have stated, but it is clear that there still is an abundance of negative lyrics.
In a content analysis of 279 songs published in the US National Library of Medicine, 67 percent of songs referred to sexual activity in a degrading way, and Rap music made up 64 percent of those songs. The researchers refer to degrading as 1) A person (often male) discusses many sexual feelings, 2) other person, (usually female) is objectified, and 3) “sexual value is placed solely on physical characteristics”.
The dangers of youth worshiping rap culture is that both men and women can view a woman’s value solely on her physical attributes and that a woman is required to behave at the hands of men.
y: Addie Tiller