Hip Hop Misogynoir Opinion Piece by Brianna Parnell

Racism has found yet another way to infect the lives of black women. As if it’s not already happening through the education and healthcare systems and in the many other forms of anti-black misogynoir. I’d like to think I can turn to music for healing, but there are racist agendas being carried out in the music industry as well and it leaks through the sound. Major record labels only care that their artists are profitable to the max so they have been endorsing Hip-Hop to exploit the black community, and to create an atmosphere for black men to exercise American style sexism against black women.

In early Hip-Hop, the intellectual “conscious” rap movement was knocked out of the window when the west coast came out with “gangsta rap”. It not only influenced the content of rap into a more negative direction but also the character and the image in the media that was associated with Hip-Hop. It created a largely hype masculine, homophobic and misogynistic era of music that major labels use to brand black communities with. Although there are contributions to hip-hop from female artists, they are highly disregarded or put into powerless, oversexualized roles in the shadows of male rap artists. How is it that there is clear evidence of the misogyny in the song lyrics which we know are just reflections of the way these men actually treat women, yet they still grow to become some of the most successful artists?

The passive attitude that everyone has towards misogynoir in rap music only makes it seem like it’s okay, but it’s not. I think we’ve become really desensitized to explicit lyrics about women in rap music. I don’t think a lot of people have realized that they could be perpetuating misogynoir by supporting artists who don’t appreciate the value of black women.