Get Educated or Get Exploited (Hip-Hop and Women)

As Women’s History month comes to an end I feel spiritually compelled to
help alleviate the exploitation of misguided women in Hip-Hop. This issue goes
much deeper than Hip-Hop, the everlasting philosophical debate of moral right
and wrong becomes more mind boggling when it comes to the exploitation of
women. Are women acting on their own will or has OUR culture distorted their
moral judgment? (I put ““our” in caps because if our culture is responsible for
this, then it is our responsibility to convey a more positive message.) Does
man’s sexual appetite provide wholesome employment opportunities, or does
giving these women a decent pay check conceal the continued suppression of
women? In plain English, is it wrong for an eighteen year old girl to shake her
ass in a music video, or are the artist and director at fault for giving the
public what they want? Perhaps we can place blame upon the education system, or
inadequate parenting. I can spend an entire day metonymically displaying the
elements in society that lead to the core problem. A lack of accountability in
society perpetuates into extremely poor decision making tactics among the
youth.




Culture sets the context for norms and how we see things. It has been a
while since The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, the last recognizable positive
record from a female in Hip-Hop. This means there exists a generation of
BET/MTV viewers that have never seen a woman in anything more than a thong and
skimpy top. This is a small exaggeration, however, we have our Alicia Keys,
Jill Scotts etc. “Everything is Everything” was a hot video, remember the city
spinning like a record and the DJ scratching and shaking up the city. The song
was hot, the video was hot, but more importantly Lauren was hot. She is a sexy
woman, known more for her intellect and ability as an MC. Though in Lauren’s
eyes I am racially handicapped (being white), just like her “I wrote these
words for everyone who struggles in their youth.” Positive female role models
are scarce in Hip-Hop. Voletta Wallace said it best when she referred to Lil
Kim as “representing sex not sexy.” Miss Wallace sugar coated her statement out
of respect but the bottom line is that most Hip-Hop divas look and act like
sluts. Young girls watching these sluty acts may not idolize them but this
medium imbeds a distorted view of social norms.

Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown

Both dons as well as divas of the Hip-Hop game are equally responsible and
need to be careful of the messages they send. Around the same time as
“Everything is Everything” two other videos relevant to this issue
were in rotation, Juvenile’s “Back That Ass Up” and Destiny’s Child’s “Bills
Bills Bills.” The chauvinistic brutal honesty of “Back That Ass Up” can distort
a teenage male’s view of women’s purpose in existence, making them think women
are nothing more than sexual objects hear for man’s pleasure. But what about
“boy bands” like N-Sync and The Backstreet Boys, that sing about how much they
love their girl, “oh baby I love you, you’re my one and only,” shit like that,
but then they go backstage and fuck 12 groupies. The honesty of Hip-Hop should
be respected; however, a balance of honesty and responsibility as an icon needs
to be maintained. This “balance”” is one of the objective reasons that Tupac
Shakur’s greatness can not be disputed. With “Keep Ya Head Up” and “I Get
Around” on the same album we can not ask for a more complete display of fun
hip-hop and conscious rap. Rappers are not the only artists that need to be
held accountable. R&B acts like Destiny’s Child have been reckless with
their privilege to reach the masses; perhaps even more reckless than us hormone
driven males. Most rappers have positive intent conveyed through negative
content, what the fuck is the message behind “Can you pay my bills…then maybe
we could chill…I don’t think you do/ so you and me are through.” Why not try to
create a generation of casual prostitutes and sucker ass dudes that try to
buy women. Even worse is the complete interruption of balance between
materialism and the subjective view of love. Don’t worry though; Destiny’s
Child doesn’t need someone to pay their bills anymore, now they “need a
soldier.” So if your daughter gets pregnant by some kid who violated parole by
fucking your underage daughter, don’t throw out her Lil Kim CDs, trash that
Destiny’s Child shit. “Girls used to sing about how they want us to love and
hold ya/ now they c-walkin, talkin bout they need a soldier.” (J-Ro of Tha
Liks)

Let’s not overlook my brief reference to our institutionalized education
system that needs to be checked. With the high school drop out rate drastically
rising many teens wake up around noon, watch 106 and Park, and this is what
their mind absorbs during its most efficient hours. If a young woman wants to
pursue a career in videos and modeling that’s fine, after all that’s the beauty
of a capitalist society, individual independence and economic prosperity. The
problem is when this young woman’s mind was not developed and prepared to
make wise decisions. Perhaps if the importance of women’s history was stressed
just a little bit in junior high schools young adult women would have more
pride, and teenage men would have more respect. Or if the importance of history
in general was stressed instead of drilling facts and dates into student’s
heads, trying to turn them into academic robots. How about a real “sex
education” program, not a lecture that scares teens into abstinence? If a young
woman was properly educated (there some smart models out there don’t get it
twisted) then she would be able to conduct herself in a professional manner
while still being sexy. Outrageous college tuition is another problem. Despite
Chris Rock’s theory of “the stripper myth,” (see Never Scared) there are girls
that try to strip their way through college. I see nothing morally wrong with
that, however, not all women are as strong minded as the main character in
Playas Club. Lyndon Johnson once said “Men are molded by their environment…,” well
so are women, and there many atrocities women can be exposed to living the
stripper life. When wack “acts” like Tpain sing “I’m in love wit a stripper,”
my subjective bias opinions of Hip-Hop go out the window, and I seriously hope
a young mind embodied by beauty does not become a victim of latent dysfunctions
from an irresponsible medium.

We are all individuals that should not be judged for individual choices,
which cause no harm to others. But society has a responsibility to reach out to
those on the path of self-destruction. Sure, a Hip-Hop website is not the forum
to preach for utopia, however, societal problems exist within the culture and
business of Hip-Hop. I am sick of Hip-Hop being attacked by political big wigs
and corny ass media who are completely ignorant to our world. I said we should
not be judged for individual choices which cause no harm to others, so to all
the women who choose to be scandalous don’t “Wonda Why They Call You
Bitch.” Like AZ said “P.E.A.C.E Positive Education Always Corrects
Errors”

R.I.P. Tupac

All the best to Foxy Brown

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