A blog about hip-hop, rap music, its trends, and an overall thought about the music an culture, without indulging in gossip. A real set of opinions and discussions, not based on the popular sentiment, but examining and challenging it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How do we really see women?

I'm starting to think a lot of guys either really don't respect women or don't care who they are at all. Look I understand that often times music is oversimplified but it's getting ridiculous to the point where every song that is meant for the radio that is designed to appeal to women is only about them as relation to money and how much you can give them or if they're worth a certain dollar amount.

Maybe this has something to do with the current fascination with strippers and strip club women and a lot of repressed issues we have within the black community about money and what the definition of being a provider actually is. I'll try to get in depth about as much as possible but it is more than partially annoying to see the main females promoted in the urban or hip-hop world are overly obsessed with labels such as Jimmy Choo, back in the late '90's Burberry, Louie Vuitton, or the now ubiquitous "Red Bottom" or Christian Louboton or however that damn thing is spelled. Between that and the current deification of strippers, we might have an image problem. Now I'm not going to say stripping is inherently bad (hell i don't know a guy who doesn't enjoy an occasional trip, okay maybe one but that's it) or that desiring nice things is negative (who doesn't want some luxury in their lives), but the obsession with these things is what the problem is and hip-hop has a huge problem with showing depth beyond that. Too much of our music is doing nothing but pushing this same imagery out at us.


For instance, take the Maybach Music Group's single from the upcoming Self-Made Volume 2 , "Bag of Money".




Besides the fact Ross is saying his "Bitch" he is talking about her looking like a bag of money as if that is the only thing in the world. Like a bag of money is the ultimate accomplishment. This shows how our culture has become ultimately completely twisted to the pursuit of the almighty dollar.  So confused are we is that it becomes the ultimate measure of a woman, but not her personality, just her looks because that is what matters the most, being able to show off a trophy to your friends. Now let's also ask, what does he mean by a bag of money? is he talking about a liquor store or crown royal bag full of change? A scrooge Mcduck money sack? Dollar bills falling out? Why are we so obsessed with money and the pursuit of it in and of itself. Then in support of this Warner and MMG are giving dancers at three Atlanta clubs a chance to win 500 dollars each.Why aren't they giving this to students going to school, or someone struggling at a dead end job?



The other issue I have is with the idea that all you have to do for a woman is take her shopping and throw a lavish amount of money her way. I probably talked about this months ago, but it's important to go over again. For a young lady, she should do more than just be attractive on your arm to be showered with gifts. A man should be desiring a woman who is supportive, helpful, attractive to him, and do the other subtle things that make successful relationships workable. Then you get a guy like Drake crooning about not finding love in the strip club. You're damn right, they're there for the money not to be a friend with you. Women need more than money, they need attention, support, and time as well. If you think you're going to just send her shopping in Paris and have her be happy you're going to find yourself alone, but then again if you listen to rap these days, women are just like the latest accessory, when you're done with them you can just get a new one to keep it fresh. That may be how men want to feel because they feel a need to reestablish some kind of control and dominance they may feel professionally is lacking, but it isn't a healthy view. There needs to be a back and forth, give and take and to push the idea that relationships between sexes are limited to sex and gifts is a negative development.



Right now all music is lacking in subtlety and variety, but hip-hop is especially having a real problem right now. There is only one major female rapper and thus you only get one perspective, and while there are plenty of male artists, there isn't any depth. If they're not telling someone how "they're going to take their bitch", "send her back", they're just going to go buy Red bottoms and take her shopping and that's it. Is that really where we need to be? Look, Nas just dropped a song about his daughter and his influence and how seeing her grow up suddenly hit him. You would think he could talk to some of these guys or they would have realized this since many have their own children and totally provide a stronger example of what a man should do, other than be able to buy them things.

In the end, I can only hope we can get more positive music that is empowering for the next Michele Obama and not just the next wanna be Buffy the Body or Cubana Lust. Maybe these male artists don't think women are smart enough to want something more or understand anything deeper within their music. If that's the case they are surely mistaken. And for the women, I must leave you with a quote from my man Jermaine Butler which seemed to perfectly fit this theme:

Random thought: How can someone find a "Good Man" when they aspire to be a "Bad B**ch"? A person whom I respect immensely says, "Make yourself the 'Product of Choice'," Well, ask yourself who wants a "Bad B**ch" & I doubt you'll answer it with, "A Good Man."

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