Those who really know me, and have seen my relationship with music strengthen and evolve, will forever know that I can sit and watch reruns of The Voice for hours upon end. I also live for concerts, to me, there is simply no better experience than seeing a live performer and being able to feel them transcend their music into my body. Even the genres I am not necessarily a fan of, I am almost always able to develop an appreciation and respect.
When attending a concert, I am able to forget the rest of the world and focus on the power of one single song. Disregarding who I am with, where I am, whatever my current situation might be, I genuinely believe music is momentarily able to possess me.
I have always viewed this possession solely as a positive aspect of music, and never have I considered the negative effects. Especially focusing in on much of today's mainstream rap, this power music holds over so many of us can be more detrimental than uplifting.
Focusing on women in particular, I rarely hear music that focuses on the incredible aspects that make up so many women, such as our inner beauty, intelligence, and strength. What does make up a majority of today's top charts though, is the discussion of women's asses and our ability to give oral sex.
To listen to these misogynistic lyrics and later be told not to take them at face value is disheartening. The late rapper XXXTenacion (X) is a prime example. Now, I know one person, who claims that he owes his life to the lyrics that this rapper produced. In one particular song, the rapper claims he was "falsely accused," and continues to wish death upon the subject. This subject, however, pressed charges against the rapper for kicking and strangling her while pregnant.
How does someone ignore that?
We seem to have no problem fiercely addressing some of America's biggest problems. Today's incredible millennial movement claims to never give up, and that we will not stop until all genders, races, and religions are treated equally. We claim we will not stand for the ease at which one can purchase a firearm along with holding the right to choose. But we allow these musicians, who have committed many of the crimes that we claim to stand against, climb all over us, degrade us, and not even think twice about it.
How can we, the women who claim to stand with Christine Blasey Ford throughout the #MeToo Movement, the women who believe that we are in the midst of The March for Our Lives, support rappers like Kanye West, who titles songs such as "Gold Digger" and openly stands with people like Russell Simmons, who was accused of sexual assault.
I know many reading this are fans of the artists I have directly mentioned or alluded to. To be completely transparent, I am not saying that we should simply boycott rappers who degrade women. I am more than aware that that is pretty unrealistic as I am a massive fan of Eminem and Post Malone, who both sing about hating the world and repeatedly refer to women as "bitches." All I'm asking is that we, as millennial women, take a deeper look into the messages that are subconsciously being embedded in our brains as we scream out these misogynistic lyrics at parties.
As someone once told me that I should just separate the artist from the art, I began to wonder why we do not hold the music that is shaping our lives to the same standards as we do our Supreme Court, who ultimately decides whether women have control over their bodies. Why should the musicians who minimize our self worth be held to a lower standard than our elected officials who can tell us what we can/can't do with ourselves. We claim we are so high and mighty, and that we will not let anything get in our way until justice has been served. But we let these musicians walk all over us, failing to acknowledge that we deserve better and that we are so much more than the "bitches" and "pieces of ass" that many of today's rappers make us out to be.
We are hypocrites, and if we aren't going to do anything about it, the least we can do is acknowledge it.