I'm a Feminist who Loves Hip-Hop. Rick Ross and Other Misogynists Can't Change That.

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Mike Mezeul
Rick Ross in Dallas.
Rick Ross is having a rough week. The Maybach Music Group kingpin is currently being crucified by the media & women's interest groups all over the country, for a guest verse he gave on Atlanta rapper Rocko's new single, U.O.E.N.O. Featuring a hook from autotune boy wonder, Future, the song is perfectly enjoyable for the first two minutes and ten seconds. It's there that things take an unprecedentedly dark turn, and an amusingly boastful and catchy rap tune turns into a major media scandal. With the line, "Put molly all in her champagne, she ain't even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it", Ross has put the national spotlight on rap music's misogynistic and predatory relationship with women.

"I definitely believe in challenging [art], and challenging our artists to be more responsible with their lyrics." said New York emcee Talib Kweli, when he called into HuffPostLive this week to discuss the topic, "But too often with hip hop, we have an incredible double standard where we accept [irresponsible lyrics] from rappers we like, and don't accept it from rappers we don't like"

Kweli makes a great point. Ross' date rape braggadocio is an undeniable iniquity, but it is by no means the first depiction or glorification of non-consensual sex in rap music. OFWGTKA's Tyler The Creator for example, who was on Letterman just last night promoting his new album, has heavily illustrated lyrical depictions of rape throughout his young career. Yet for some reason, the critically acclaimed rapper has barely caught a fraction of the public outrage that Ross has currently embroiled- coincidentally at a point in his career where he is undoubtedly past his peak.

For women, the double standard is all the more complicated. As a woman, a feminist and a hip hop fan, I think lyrics that glorify and make light of rape are deplorable and socially dangerous. I also think that misogynistic themes and lyrics in rap music have affected the way that young men of my generation view & treat women, by subscribing them to a distorted guideline of how to measure their masculinity.

But misogyny is not a hip hop problem, it is a societal reality. So is rape culture. In any medium, the art is never the cause of the problem, it is the symptom- the product of it's creator's human experience. Rick Ross might be an asshole, but he's not the reason that society doesn't take rape & violence against women seriously.

In a 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jay-Z admitted to retrospective feelings of regret about his own chauvinistic lyrical content on the classic, "Big Pimpin."

"It was like, I can't believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it [now] is really harsh."



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11 comments
alexisdasheezness
alexisdasheezness

 Have any of you butt-hurts ever heard of entertainment. Via movies, stand-up comedy, or music? If we drew "offensive" terms from each form of entertainment, entertainment would seize to exist. Ever watched Dave Chapelle? Better shove another stick up your ass an cry about it. Just the whole context of what made this whole story possible is a joke. Honestly there’s a lot of drugs i could slip in your drink that you would never know were there. Molly would make your drink taste like sour f**king milk. Anybody noticed the trend of molly in mainstream music? Is Rick Ross mainstream?  Further more do you think Rick Ross would even need to date rape a woman to get what he wanted? He has stories published about paying groupies for sex. 25,000 bucks would make you all get naked sober. Pretty sure he'd just push you out the door an let the next woman inside in the line before he resorted to rapping a chick. If you think his lyrics will have a serious impact on society we should probably blame one of your favorite sitcoms once upon a time for the people that could possibly become offended.        

STOPWRITING
STOPWRITING

OH LOOK ANOTHER SO CALLED "FEMINIST" WHO COMPLETELY BIFFED IT AND WANTS A COOKIE FOR BEING EDGY AND COMPLETELY CONTRADICTORY OF HERSELF. WAY TO OBLITERATE THE CREDIBILITY OF BEING A "FEM-HOP" DORK WITH THE STUPIDEST CONVOLUTED ARTICLE I'VE EVER READ. PLEASE ENROLL IN SOME CHICK LIT & NEO-FEM COURSES AT YOUR LOCAL PHOENIX UNIVERSITY TO OBTAIN AN ACCURATE DEFINITION OF THE WORD "FEMINIST"

dalgyrl
dalgyrl

I was offended in the sense that he is representative of the view of women being prizes and privilege for men. He and many successful men believe women are  their right. BUT.. I blame his fans more so for the platform he even has to spit his nonsense in such a loud voice that it even gets to me. I am a female.an advocate for our equality and work in the hiphop industry. His lyrics offend me so I just dont listen. I think Vanessa did a good job explaining that for HER its complex. 

don0258
don0258

KJ FAME     REVERBNATION.COM/KJFAME

Autumn Williams Keiser
Autumn Williams Keiser

That is a seriously shit piece of writing. I agree with the premise, but everything from there on is so filled with contradictions I can't even...

zanner
zanner

Jesus. I feel you, I do. But that was a seriously uneven piece of writing. You point out the unfairness  of  less-liked rappers being hit harder for misogynist lyrics, then go on to talk about your own set of justifications for feeling ok about the same shit from artists because they have successful marriages and have dealt with their father issues? You don't feel "adversarial" towards the men around you when you dance/sing to women-bashing lyrics, but I don't buy that you aren't smart enough to know how those men are reacting to you and the other chicks around you dancing and singing along. The nice guys (who probably aren't singling along with you) are put off, and the rest of them enjoy the fact that you are in on the joke with them. And not in a nice way. That's YOU willingly becoming part of rape culture in the eyes of the worst of them. You say "I...think that misogynistic themes and lyrics in rap music have affected the way that young men of my generation view & treat women" -  you even call the effect "socially dangerous", but then immediately say Rick Ross and his pro-rape lyrics don't cause rape. Rape culture doesn't contribute to rape?

You are trying to walk a camel through the eye of a needle, and the effort and resulting discomfort jumps off the screen/page. There IS room for "feminists" to get down to misogynist lyrics, enjoy lecherous actors perform and appreciate art made by dangerous assholes. But, you can't do it by awkwardly throwing together a a set of justifications just a rickety as the artists pose themselves when occasionally called on their shit. You have to own that it's bullshit. And maybe talk about the fact that women sometimes just want to fucking RELAX about the constant onslaught of challenges to our mental and physical selves - perhaps by pretending for a while that the lyrics aren't dangerous because they aren't connected to real pain and real problems. But, the only way that works is to agree, from the beginning, that we are pretending.


Clarissa Nicole
Clarissa Nicole

Rick Ross openly bragged about date raping someone and gave a soft apology about it. Mainly, he apologized to his endorses and that's it. If we give him a pass, we continue to let rape culture be OK, which it never is. It equates to giving these dumb politicians who claim things about "legitimate rape" and making it less than what it is. It's all disgusting.

Debbie Bush
Debbie Bush

just what society needs another fat rapper making money , make light of a serious subject matter date rape

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

LOL. Bitching about lyrics about rape coming from a culture that is devoid of any morality is hilarious. Why would a culture that doesn't care about murdering each other care about what some uptight white liberals think about rape?

Rape is more than just lyrics to these talentless urchins. 

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