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b_g

whatever. I love yr pop culture coverage. more gangsta rap, more horror films. they go very well with all the cats and Top Model coverage. cats being the gangstas and Top Model being the horror.

Eric

Here's another case against misogyny in hip-hop: it's what's been done for years. It is unoriginal. Spouting the same messages year in and year out make for a stagnant art form, and that's what hip-hop is. The beatmakers are the only ones who innovate in any way, and even they are starting to repeat themselves (see: Timbaland on CMAR and My Love.) Ludacris deserves credit as an innovator in how raps are structured, but his subjects too often deal with booties and booze. Kanye deserves credit for being socially conscious, but it's a shame he's such a poon, and so "self-conscious" (as he told us many times on All Falls Down) that he has to fill out his repertory with woman-hating tripe. Only thing innovative about that stuff are the beats. (I have my own thoughts about why Kanye is deeply ambivalent about women. We need Mike Jones to flush him out.)

Someone should take a chance once in a while. They'll be calling him (or her) a genius when they do, just like they heaped all that praise on Eminem simply for offering a different perspective.

wendy

Yes. Thanks for this. Your pop culture coverage is always thoughtful, intelligent and on point. Great read, thanks again.

James Derek Dwyer

isn't this shit played out yet? yawn...

Sarah

Is Kanye all that socially conscious? He may put the topic out there (which is a lot more than other people do) but in the end, it seems that his 'self-consciousness' wins out. And his Hurricane Katrina rant didn't seem to do much more than give KW more press.

P.S When I'm feel like celebrating misogyny (but secretly giving in to self-loathing) I try to take the Chris Rock approach to gangsta rap, "He ain't talking 'bout me!"

Too Bad So Sad

right on!

Donna

Long time stalker...first time responder...

So basically, your point is. If the women are so horribly whorish and awfully slutty, then what does it say about YOU for fucking with them? And if these are the only types of women you find yourself associating with, then what does that say about your T-Mobile circle of friends?

A man who only effs with whores cancels out all of his artistic ability and genius because he himself has low morale character, you know. I am a Hip Hop writer, and a black woman and have found it hard for YEARS to love a music that hates me so.

Why not put effort into finding better women to associate with? Why enjoy writing about people you hate so much? Of course, rappers build million dollar empires on that kind of shit. I'm just saying...

ekar

As I get older I find myself getting really tired of rap music. I find it intellectually lazy and wonder just how money 'hongry' these guys are that they always market to the lowest common denominator. But then again, I'm not American so I don't get the 'dream' and what you have to give in order to get it. I've watched mtvcribs and can't believe that all that misogyny is in the name of a 3000 sq ft home near a swamp, 2 chains, and 3 cars. I could get all that if I had an MBA!

Thomas

The Game ain't that great a rapper - hell, DMX is not only a better lyricist, but more interesting. And I bet Game got a little dick, too. Like you suggested, Rich, I don't hate the playa, I hate the Game. (It helps that apart from "Hate It Or Love It" he hasn't done much to warrant my time, anyway.)

Jake

The Game is pretty much awful! It's the best word to descibe him.

E.A.P

Great review, as usual, but thanks especially for your thoughts on mysogyny in hip-hop/rap. I prefer other genres so I don't spend much time listening to it, but I know how many people love it. It worries me that they're absorbing these messages and, as you mentioned, not even bothering to think through them. Your probably right about the white/male/hetero hegemony in musical criticism, but the fact that your post is so cogent should give anyone who drops by pause. At least I hope.

Paul

On top of being misogynistic, he's also biting off of his gangsta rap forefathers to whom he's supposedly paying homage.
The 'seeing the same ho in everyone's video' theme has been stolen and rehashed several times after Tupac's 'It's All About You'. Not only was this original far superior to any of the copycats, it featured a hilariously melodic refrain by Nate Dogg that still gets stuck in my head.

But I'm going off-topic. Misogyny is rap is so prevalent it even pervades the underground. You'll occasionally hear an empowerment anthem for the ladies but it almost seems like they put them there as a half-assed attempt to make the audience think the rest of the barbed comments are merely in jest. But before I go on forever... Great post. It's something the hip hop world needs to address or at least think about. That is, of course, they give a shit.

Cath

Nothing to add except major love for your post. Calling out sexism just makes you more of a man, dude.

miss shai

I love you more and more everyday, Rich.

gemma

Thats so odd because the only Game song i know is "You're Special" and its a sweet romantic song to his girl, like "I'd do anything to make you feel special/whether we lovers or friends we'll always be" and "I'm not tryin' to fuck you, I'm tryin' to wife you"
I guess its not surprising to hear a rapper be sexist, but to the extent this cd sounds to be, I just wonder what made him change his mind!

John

I don't bother with rap and the misogyny is part of the reason. Another part is the lack of creativity. And there definitely needs to be more women and gay men writing reviews of music in the mainstream media - a little balance never hurt anyone. Great post!

xnowhereboyx

Isn't the main demographic market for gangsta rap suburban males who never come into contact with any sort of urban jungle lifestyles that the genre is supposed to autobiographize? They listen to the genre, blast it from their pimped vehicles, and dress like they just got out of prison, but in reality they're just living this fantasy world that doesn't exist. Kind of like no one can achieve the pages of Vogue (not even the models in the pictures) but it doesn't stop middle-America pubescent girls from acting like they do. The more violent or misogynist the lyrics the better received they are by the audience of white suburban teenage males who use it as an outlet. Occasionally it does turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, like the lyrics are exaggerated about gang shootings and then some punk in Iowa thinks that's what really happens all the time in South Central or wherever and starts shooting people with his dad's hunting rifle or something. Most of the more hardcore rappers don't even live or think like that if they even did in the first place, it's just a morally and socially irresponsible marketing tool used by record company executives.

meghan

the extra irony is that a lot of the time, if the girl doesn't fuck the director/casting director/rapper/douche-y hanger on, she doesn't get the job. also, if the treatment called for a girl dressed in jeans and a t-shirt sitting in a meadow, those same girls would still be lining up for the job. unfortunately, the only role most rappers cast for is "bent-over bitch #3."

besides, it's not like there's tons of work out there for black women in the entertainment industry, so you can't blame them for being pragmatic and working all the jobs they can to get a foot in the door. shit, hollywood won't even hire black women to play african characters. just ask whoever cast "the interpreter"- no one can play "african" better than nicole kidman!

re: gemma: = that's actually pretty interestin because his "sweet" song still sounds off to me. the idea that there are women for fucking and women for marrying is pretty sexist. that's a madonna/whore complex if i've ever heard one...

shoosha

PLEASE stop writing about hip hop. I love your insight on everything else, not this. Or at least not when you attempt to turn a subject into a politically correct debate.

And for your readers, if you don't listen to hip hop, shut up. You don't know what you're talking about. You run around thinking you do, making judgments on an art form you don't like/can't appreciate in the first place. I think people who disregard hip hop are racist in part, to be honest.

Just ignore it. The music you listen to is just as predictable, boring and offensive to me, I'm sure.

shoosha

*I mean, a subject like this. Not everything should be attacked from a politically correct viewpoint.

xnowhereboyx

Just because some of us disrespect it doesn't mean we don't listen to it. Ass out of u and me....

Jelinas

Hey, Rich, if you're looking for some good, intelligent, non-misogynistic rap, check out Lupe Fiasco. His lyrics are clever and his tone (*gasp*) respectful. He even has a song that talks about the problem of being a POME. If you wanna talk about social awareness, he makes Kanye West look like Paris Hilton.

Rich

Even if my POV right here (that women don't deserve to be hated -- I know, I'm fucking radical!) is in line with the politically correct one, I assure you that I'm not politically correct. "Politically correct" implies insincerity and I have nothing NOTHING going for me if I'm dishonest.

Now that you've attacked my objective, shoosha, I'd love to hear the case for the alternative. Please defend the Game's hatred of women.

I'm not going to stop writing about hip-hop or anything else that provokes a reaction in me. I'm not going to stop calling bullshit, fully aware that I'm risking coming off as obvious. It's a small price, I think.

pepper

I like like like Rich--I was just thinking today that I wish you got political a bit more often, and here you have.

I like the points you made about why white critics aren't talking about The Game's sexism, and I'll venture another: White guilt. They don't want to engage the values of a black artist they're reviewing for fear that they'll be called racist. It's rather unlikely that that would happen, but I think that it's in the back of the Pitchdork's heads.

shoosha

"Just because some of us disrespect it doesn't mean we don't listen to it."

There are comments from people above who admit they do not, and are being self righteous about it regardless.
Free world, everyone's right to an opinion, blah blah, Welcome to the fucking internet, right?
I'm just getting this vibe that they think their tastes are SO much more refined and interesting! I'm sure they just ADORED that one Outkast song, so it's not like they hate all of it, right?!?

At least Rich truly likes hip hop, so he's approaching it from an objective point of view.

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