Saturday, August 14, 2010

its bigger than HIP HOP

yesterday i met up with the Black Women's Blueprint to help plan an upcoming event about women in Hip Hop; an event that will hopefully open up some much needed dialogue.

getting together with these women is like sitting in on a history lesson, a live Oprah show, a BBC news broadcast and a local library lecture all at the same time. theres always something new i learn....about the state of affairs, new statistics that no one's talking about because they're about people of color, a different legitimate point or opinion on a recent topic in the news, to....different positions on why Wyclef Jean is running for president of Haiti and whether or not he has the skill to handle it. it's just an all around inspiring and enlightening space to be in with amazingly intelligent women to learn from.

we watched a film that may be shown at the event entitled 'Say My Name' and there was much conversation to be had. this film showed nearly every black female rapper that is out or has been out (from MC Lyte and Monie Love to Remy Ma and Jean Grae) and interviewed them on what they thought about being female in the industry.

there is MUCH to be said about Hip-Hop. so much so that i don't really even want to go into it in this post. the biggest issue is that it has become synonymous with "black culture", not just to whites who know nothing about our culture (whatever that may be...) but also to many black people. consequently, how much stake does/should society have in other people's children; in society as a whole?

for example, when 5 out of the 10 female rappers raps about how fast and good she can have sex along with making money by any means necessary (regardless of the dignity or lack thereof involved)and these women are influencing many many young girls to act as they do as well as many boys and men that this is how women are supposed to act....when do we take it out of the parents' hand, and tell the artist that they need rap with a higher level on conscience than they have??
a little over a third of the families in the Unites States are single parent families. something like 90% of those are headed by females who tend to (still) make $.80 to every man's $1. when this is the case, and many of these women are over worked, under paid, then many a times the child's role model goes to those they see in the media (although nearly every child feels some level of media pressure). when do we start holding not only parents accountable for their child's negative views (such as seeing all women of color as sexual objects as they are shown in most hip hop vidoes), but also artists, producers, record company execs, tv show hosts, and news media outlets?

think. comment. criticize.

and just to be clear, here's one example of the video i'm referring to that produces negative views. and here is one by a female artist that produces the same type of misogyny as well as the breakdown of simple sisterhood.
but to end on a positive note (because, while i have many issues with it, i do LOVE hip hop), there are a good number of conscious rappers who strive to promote positivity, love, sisterhood, self-respect, political consciousness, community, constructive criticism and constructive dialogue. and a favorite from a female rapper that never gets enough credit:

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