I think this is an interesting point that seems so simple, but isn't thought about much. We all know sex sells, but racial stereotypes? I feel like face palming at the thought of this because it seems so "duh!" Black females have been portrayed either as helpful "mammies," angry black women or sexual deviants throughout historical discourse. So this portrayal of black females as sex objects permeates hip hop very often. It makes it easy to understand why hip hop music that isn't as community based and focused has made its way into popularity when you think about it.
"Look, I don't want it to seem like I'm bashing everything about Lil Wayne and Jay-Z, because I'm not. I think they're both very talented. If you look at the metaphors Lil Wayne produces, they're amazing; they're very creative. It's the substance. What are you making metaphors about 24 hours a day? Same thing with Jay-Z. Even he has acknowledged that he's "dumbed his music down" so that he can sell records. This economic imperative has had more of an impact on hip-hop than [on] rock or soul or R&B."
I have to admit that I've listened to some stuff with Lil Wayne in it and he does know how to use words meaningfully. He rhymes well and uses words in really clever ways, but like she said, it's what these metaphors are made about. Often they have to do with "pussy" or killing someone. He also really likes to use the words "bitches" and "cashmoney."
"Well, O.K., I agree, some parents are not very good at watching their kids. But a lot of parents are deeply struggling to figure out how to watch their kids and hold down three part-time jobs with no benefits. And they don't really need artists making their job harder by creating an allure, an excitement, for behavior that is completely self-destructive. Artists tell you to turn off, but they really depend on you doing the opposite. And I say, Let's take them up on it. They'll change their tune because they need an audience. They need us."
""The hip-hop-causes-violence camp is incredibly dishonest about the profound role of structural racism, of economic disadvantange that has been produced over decades. It's not just personal, lazy behavior. It's a dishonest way of dumping on hip-hop a set of conditions that we are responsible for as a nation. That being said, that doesn't mean that a constantly violent narrative is a good thing. I'm not suggesting there shouldn't be a challenge to it to some degreee. But it's not the source of the problem. It's a red herring."
My question for the class is: what do you think about the "turning off" issue addressed by Tricia Rose in her interview? It's a tough question for me especially because I was a nanny and have young nieces and nephews. You can't stop things from happening by ignoring them as we touched upon with "Cinderella Ate My Daughter," but you don't want to expose your children to violence and sexism in music and TV...I think what we read about princess culture made a good point about perhaps allowing kids to interact with things but to talk about it. But do you think Disney classism/racism/princess stuff is a bit lighter than violent/sexist music?
LOL Jay Z