Sacred Feminine: Reclaiming Women in HipHop

January 15, 2009

Its no big secret that the image of the woman has been dragged through the mud in hip hop over the past 17 years. In the July 2008 edition of Rolling Stone, President Elect Barack Obama call Russell Simmons, Jay-Z, and Ludacris “great talents and great businessmen.” He went on to say, “I am troubled sometimes by the misogyny and materialism of a lot of rap lyrics…It would be nice if I could have my daughters listen to their music without me worrying that they were getting bad images of themselves.”

We have seen this trend move from name calling “bitch” and “ho” to images of women being led around on leashes like animals in the 50 cent video “P.I.M.P.”. However, I think the image of women as conveyed through hip hop is back on the upswing. Artists are realizing that not only women and our elders, but the majority of the population is really getting sick and tired of hearing misogynistic themes and side-notes in music. While flipping through the radio (which I try to do as little as possible) you may hear more positive depictions of females like in Independent by Webbie featuring Soulja Boy and Lil Phat from 3 Deep:

“Independent do you know what that mean?
She got to her own house
She got her own car
Two jobs work hard you a bad broad”

Or perhaps in Ride by Ace Hood ft Trey Songz:

“See mama, all I want you to do is hold it down for me
I want you to be my ride or die
while I go get this money, I promise Im get us out the hood baby”

I know what them girls like by Ludacris ft Chris Brown is another positive example. No these examples are far from perfect and generally don’t leave out their eagerness to get them into bed, but hip hops got to start somewhere.

Rhythm and Blues (R&B) music has consistently been a more woman-loving, baby-making style of music, therefore this trend has not been nearly as apparent. However, songs like Ms. Independent, and the even better Ms. Independent/She got her own Remix with Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx, and Fabolous has has overwhelming success and popularity as Ne-Yo attempts to bring focus back to the image of the gentleman. Let’s all hope this is not a fad but is an new attitude that is going to stay.
Blogger: http://mrsmai.blogspot.com/

Myspace: http://blogs.myspace.com/markmaiwords

ProgressiveU: http://www.progressiveu.org/blog/mai

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