Hypermasculinity And Hip Hop
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Hypermasculinity And Hip Hop

An analysis of Black hypermasculinity.

6036
Hypermasculinity And Hip Hop
magix.com

Black masculinity is a form of hypermasculinity that has been proselytized into the minds of Black men, which suppresses developing diversity within the Black male community. Hypermasculinity depicts that Black men always have to be independent, non-emotional, aggressive, competitive, tough skinned, strong and confident. Hip-hop and community are quintessential spaces that perpetuate black hyper-masculine culture. This ideology is engaged by many from a young age and continues to generationally brainwash. Hypermasculinity is a toxic notion that refutes the idea of being one’s self, endangers the African-American male identity, and ultimately supports inhumane behavior.

There are many attributes that hypermasculinity deem as “not manly.” One, in particular, is having a small Phallus. In the article “Average Size ... for a Black Man: Myths About Size, Racism, and the Patriarchy,” writer Bill Johnson II analytically explains the generational myths of the black male size penis. In essence, the male penis is one of the most quintessential egotistical male assets that determines the measure of how masculine one is in the black community. Johnson begins the article with a quote from Bernie Mac describing his penis as “big boned, heavy structured, and hung low.” The quote exemplifies the stereotypical idea of black male penis size, deeming it as large and powerful. Johnson carries on by saying that he does not have a large phallus and wishes he was bigger. However, he also goes on to pronounce, “I realize that systematically speaking my desire for a larger cock rests at the intersection of racism and patriarchal socialization.” The thought of being a black man with a large penis is internalized within European racism. Historically, Black men were equated to being animalistic and barbaric, ultimately seen as sexually menacing and susceptible to raping white women because of Black men savage ways. The very matter that showed how barbaric the nature of Black men were, is now the main factor in ranking their masculinity. Masculinity does not stop here, it still has it’s part in Black culture, it mixes itself within the activism of hip hop.

Hip Hop has been a culture birthed from a genre of music that used it’s platform to shine a light on political and social injustice within the Black and Hispanic communities in the 1970s. Hip Hop in 2016 continues to serve as an activist based platform through the works of Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and many other writers, producers, and performers. Conversely, Hip Hop also has undertones of misogyny, rape culture, and hypermasculinity. In the documentary Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, director Byron Hurt encapsulates the entire masculine culture within Hip-Hop in fifty-five minutes. Hurt emphasizes on the levels of violence, misogyny, and homophobia in both Hip Hop and the Black community holistically. Hurt begins by saying “Men need to take a look at themselves...were all in this box, in order to be in this box you have to be tough, strong, have money, be a pimp, have women, and dominate other men”. Hurt references a metaphorical box, and in order to be in this box one must acquire all the materialistic accolades and hyper-masculine values; this box is a stamp of achievement within Black hyper-masculine culture.

This collective idea of misogyny, rape culture, and hypermasculinity that Hurt touches on has been engrafted in the doctrine of black male masculinity in predominantly African-American communities. Ta-Nehisi Coates in the book, Between The World and Me, writes, “I recall learning these laws clearer than I recall learning my colors and shapes, because these laws were essential to the security of my body” (Coates 24). The laws taught within the culture of hypermasculinity are essential for a Black man to learn so that he is not emasculated for being himself. However, when someone chooses to go against the normative of society they have to be ready for the effect of which they caused. Black men who proudly negate hyper-masculine activity and thinking help a whole community of Black youth.

Many scholars and thinkers constantly research where the notion of Black masculinity stem from. Kevin Powell, a well-acclaimed writer, lectured at the New School in New York with Dr. bell hooks. Powell voiced, “I felt that father hole forever, I did not have a single black positive male image in my life for the first 18 years of my life.” Does the idea of masculinity stem from not having a male parent; essentially finding ways to be more manly to others because there is a constant void of acceptance? Coates writes “The streets transform every ordinary day into a series of trick questions, and every innocent answer risks a beat down, a shooting, or a pregnancy. No one survives unscathed.” (Coates 22). When Coates writes “ This is what rappers mean when they pronounce themselves addicted to “the streets” or in love with “the game.” I imagine they feel something akin to parachutists, rock climbers, BASE jumpers, and others who choose to live on the edge.” (Coates 22). The love for the streets that rappers speak of is related to hypermasculinity; their love of the violence and the culture is hypermasculine, all while living to die daily. When young boys hear rappers speak about rape culture and hypermasculinity in a positive way, they internalize that negativity and it sets their generation up to think that referring to women as less than is socially acceptable. Many scholars debate rather the void of a male figure or the danger of the streets is the initial teacher that being hyper-masculine is acceptable.

Hypermasculinity continues to have a great effect in Black male culture. Hypermasculinity is a handicap to the progression of society because it promotes ideas of misogyny, rape culture, and male dominance. It is imperative that Black men refute the idea of hypermasculinity because it is damaging originality within the Black male community, ultimately stopping societal progression. Coates writes,“If you’re black, you were born in jail.” (Coates 36). If Black men were born into a metaphorical jail, hypermasculinity is the shackle placed upon them.

Works Cited

Johnson II, Bill."Average Size ... for a Black Man: Myths About Size, Racism, and the Patriarchy." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Hurt, Byron. "Hip-Hop Beyond Beats & Rhymes." YouTube. N.p., 29 Mar. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"Bell Hooks and Kevin Powell: Black Masculinity, Threat or Threatened I The New School." YouTube. THE NEW SCHOOL, 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

71619

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1558600

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

971326
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

896628
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

583222
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

371310
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

490690

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments