By no means would I say that I am a Hip Hop expert. I’m like the majority of American listeners who listen to what is popular on the radio, hums a long with the beats and sings a long to the lyrics without actually knowing what I am saying. It is when we really take the time to figure out what we actually are listening to when we question the true meaning behind the words. The video we watched in class for the last two classes brought about the chicken and egg aspect. Are producers making music like this because it is what society wants or is society listening to music that these producers are creating? Are these rappers simply a product of their experiences? These are just some of the questions I asked when attempting to figure out this Hip-hop culture. I think what the director wanted to show was the nuanced responses from rappers, young and old. For some, people were just rapping lyrics that objectified women or promoted violence because they simply thought it was cool. Some others though, had these actual experiences and were rapping about what they had gone through. However, most of the time, these rappers seem to want to project this image because it makes them seem tough, manly, and hard. They believe it makes them cool because society tells them that. There is this perpetuation of these hyper-masculine images that surround this type of music.
Although it seems like some people do not have a problem with lyrics that reference “bitches, hoes, and niggers,” because they are not directed at them specifically, I think they are indirectly referencing women and African American. This indirect reference hurts these groups even more because it is a generalization of these groups and it is pervasive throughout society. Furthermore, it normalizes how this terminology is used. It then becomes appropriate for men to call women “bitches” because women are singing along to these songs. Additionally, it becomes appropriate for people to call African Americans “niggers” because these rappers are promulgating the word. How can we go about changing what is seen as cool in hip-hop? How can society as a whole, stop referencing such derogatory language to get its point across? These are still questions that I am grappling with and am interested in seeing what the rest of the class thinks.