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Monday, June 25, 2012

In defence of hip hop

The Guardian discusses hip-hop and the view of women it portrays:

While blatant examples of misogyny abound in hip-hop – a recent line from Jay-Z and Kayne West's That's My Bitch boasts "I paid for them titties, get your own" – there is space within the genre to challenge the sexism, according to dream hampton, co-author of Jay-Z's bestselling book Decoded. "Is mainstream hip-hop sexist? Absolutely," she said, in a phone interview from the US.

"But that is not the whole story – there are as many bitches and hos in the Bible as in hip-hop, but you can't have that conversation with a pastor. In hip-hop patriarchy can be discussed, confronted and laid bare, where others hide behind civil discourse and censure."

Hip hop is the technicolour by-product of the failings of the American system. It's had a hand in modern American triumphs, such as the inauguration of the first black American, and failure such as normalising crime, drug use, greed and misogyny.

It's given the planet some of the greatest political entertainers of all time, such as Chuck D - still far smarter than your average politician, and some of the dullest people to ever grace a stage.

Rapping is broadly fictional narrative that can be used as metaphor, parable, illustrative demonstrations of what might happen in any given situation. It's an incredible form of communication, generally misused; at it's best, you can use it to remote view other peoples lives.

You can't blame art for the failings of an individual like Jay Z, but you can blame the media outlets for giving them so much airtime. It's because it's not in their interests to broadcast this sort of thing :

What the person above said!

Hip hop emerged in some specific social conditions and necessarily contains and discusses social flaws in a completely unrestrained way.
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