Since the 1970’s, Rap music has taken over Hollywood and many saw it as a platform where artists, especially those belonging to the Black community, were able to express their struggles and raise their voices. However, this struggle against oppression somehow became the epitome of sexism and misogyny, and demeaning remarks about women just became a norm.
It is important to realize that such concerning state of rap music is not something new; sexism has existed in rap since the genre first came into existence and it has become so normalized that no one bothers to even talk about it anymore. The lyrics of these songs are written by men, and they are directed at women to degrade them by sexualizing, objectifying, and romanticizing them in an alarming manner. Here’s the harsh truth - the fact that you do not find anything problematic in the lyrics of songs written by your favorite rap artists means that you are part of the problem.
For example, let us take the example of the song “A Bitch Iz a Bitch” by the famous “N.W.A”. The lyrics of this song are as follows:
“There you have it. the description of a bitch. now ask yourself, Are they talking about you? are you that funky, dirty, money-hungry, Scandalous, stuck-up, hair piece contact wearing bitch? yep, you Probably are.”
The entire song is about sexist remarks and expressing hate towards women who are depicted as nothing more than “materialistic liars”. It is important to realize that this is not something rare; words such as “bitches”, “hoes”, and “sluts” are commonly used for women in rap, further emphasizing upon the problematic state of things.
Other than that, there exists a huge gender-gap within the rap industry as 97% of the all-time greatest rappers are men, with only a few women making the cut such as Nicki Minaj. Nonetheless, it is imperative that we, as the audiences, raise our voices against the blatant sexism and misogyny which exists within the rap industry at the very fundamental level and set an example for the generations to come.