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Misogyny and Sexism in Rap Music

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.

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When I read your article it instantly reminded me of Robin Thicke's blurred lines which was so popular when it released and many of us did not even realize how problematic it was because we have become so accustomed to bizarre rap and pop culture. Someone has already posted the lyrics on the song above and reading them now gives me chills as to how this song was nominated for a grammy and how it even won so many awards. This is the impact of male dominance and it's great that you have addressed this issue in your article because the representation of women in the media by women is so less that men often get away with absurd music,…


Adding on to your point, I also wanted to highlight how so many songs and their artists get away with not just sexist lyrics, but even some lyrics that can be considered to be representing ideas of harassment. For example, look at these lyrics from Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke:

"I hate these blurred lines

I know you want it

I know you want it

I know you want it

But you're a good girl

The way you grab me

Must wanna get nasty" Alternatively, look at these lyrics from Jailbait by Ted Nugent:

"Well I don't care if you're just thirteen

You look too good to be true

I just know that you're probably clean

There's one lil' thing I…


A major reason for the sexist and derogatory comments about women in mainstream rap lyrics is positionality, i.e., the idea that no media product is free from the mark of its maker. As you have already mentioned, 97% of the greatest rappers of all time have been men, Additionally the lyricists, producers, and composers in the rap industry are also mostly men.

Therefore, positionality says that a male dominated industry is bound to create media products that showcase its male dominated nature. This is mostly through a reflection of the sexist ideologies in lyrics, music videos, or general comments. For instance, a line in the famous rap song U.O.E.N.O says:

"Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know…

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