In Search of Good Rap: Let’s Stop Condoning Misogyny

In Search of Good Rap: Let’s Stop Condoning Misogyny

Why is Future's album DS2 ranked one of the best albums of 2015?
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Content Warning: explicit language, sex, violence

The other day, in a panicked frenzy over what to gift my younger brother for Christmas, I searched “best albums of 2015” online. My family is large, so we use the secret Santa system. I figured an amazing CD could add something to the sorry state of his gift haul.

My search produced a list, compiled by Google, labeled “Music Albums Frequently Mentioned on the Web”, containing the following:

1. To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar
2. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I just Sit - Courtney Barnett
3. Vulnicura - Bjork
4. Carrie & Lowell - Sufjan Stevens
5. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late - Drake
6. Summertime ’06 - Vince Staples
7. The Epic - Kamasi Washington
8. Wildheart - Miguel
9. Currents - Tame Impala
10. Surf
11. In Colour - Jamie xx
12. DS2 - Future









My brother’s heard Kendrick’s album. The next top three albums—all of which I love—are not to his taste. So I just picked an album at random: DS2 by Future, ranked the 12th most frequently mentioned album on the Internet.

On Christmas day, we all opened our presents; thank you’s were exchanged. It felt wholesome. Until a few days later, when I looked up Future’s album, listened to it all the way through and suffered serious disappointment.

Turns out, I had gifted my brother some of the most misogynistic, albeit critically acclaimed, tracks.

Some of the more memorable lines of DS2 include:

“I just had some b*tches and I made ‘em lip lock”
“Hit that b*tch while I’m choking her out”
“I f*ck on your b*tch and I’ll prove it”
"She gon’ come f*ck me whenever, whenever I want her”
“She a hoe and a slut and a metaphor”



Critics have called Future’s album “the crown jewel of his creative peak”, a “star-studded ‘honest’ album”. Pitchfork’s review states: “His rapping is nimble and dreamy… it’s a strange record… The production is mostly slow and sad… What kind of darkness is this guy experiencing?”

Indeed. The entire album is depressing, with drugs, money, and “pu**y” (i.e. women, human beings) being the three objects at play. Pitchfork doesn’t feel the need to bring up how utterly abusive the album is to women. Because misogyny in rap is a given. Duh.

According to Wiki and more legitimate sources, 22 percent to 37 percent of rap music is misogynistic. Almost all great (male) rap artists have some line out there that’s questionable. But why is this so unquestioned, so acceptable?

I only recently started listening to rap. I had always written it off as not being substantive, until about a year ago when I was introduced to Lupe Fiasco. Lupe is without a doubt the James Joyce of rap—his dense lyrics never end, and it takes several read-throughs on Rap Genius to understand all of his allusions. From Lupe, I moved to Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, and Childish Gambino. I was astounded to see my old prejudices fall apart in the emotional raw intensity of Kendrick’s “The Blacker the Berry”, Lupe’s “Murals”, and even Kanye West’s “Blood on the Leaves”. But for every talented, complex rap song out there, there are ten, utterly mind-numbing, offensive ones.

Would Future’s lyrics be acceptable in any other genre? Could John Mayer produce a new album with a parallel lyric to “pull out my dick and I pee on her”? Or let’s switch roles. Could misandristic woman succeed in the music industry? Could a woman sing a parallel lyric to “I ain’t got no manners for no sluts/ I’ma put my thumb in her butt” about men? Sure, these comparisons are crude and grate against what we know to be acceptable about music. But that’s the point.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Women would never succeed with such explicit, sadistic lyrics against men. And if they did, critics wouldn’t be calling the album “honest” and “depressing”. They would call it f***ed up.

Truthfully, going through Future’s lyrics to write this article made me feel sick. But a hundred times more disturbing is the fact that this album is ranked as one of the top 20 best albums of the year. As an amateur rap listener, I’ll be in search of anti-Futuresque music, despite what the critics say. Sorry, bro.

Cover Image Credit: Georgia Kasamias

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2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

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A Beginner's Guide to Milwaukee Sports

Part I: The Bucks

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Being a college student in Milwaukee has its perks, especially for sports fans. Now, while some may have brought their hometown teams to college, others (myself included) may have warmed up to the Cream City teams without knowing much about them. If this is the case for you, then these pointers can help you start enjoying Milwaukee basketball without looking and sounding like a bandwagon fan.

Quick History

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Here are some facts about the Bucks that can make you feel more knowledgeable about the franchise:

- They have only won one championship (back in 1971) and have lost one NBA Finals series (1974) (Land of Basketball)

- They have only had one* MVP-caliber player in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) during the 1971, 1972, and 1974 seasons (Land of Basketball)

- Other Notable Players Include: Oscar Robertson (#1), Sidney Moncrief (#4), Jon McGlocklin (#14) and Ray Allen (#34) (Land of Basketball)

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sited: https://www.landofbasketball.com/teams/milwaukee_bucks.htm

Gear Up

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This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Wearing team's colors or spirit wear is a must, especially if you're going to a game. Most items like hats and t-shirts are perfectly acceptable, and these are great if you're not trying to break the bank. Buying your gear from a sporting goods store will usually be cheaper than buying them from the team store (the main one of which is located in Fiserv Forum). Most online stores like NBA.com, Fanatics, Fansedge, and sometimes even the team's online store will have sales on sports gear, so getting a good deal on team wear is always a plus!

A Word of Caution: Jerseys

All three of these players are not part of the 2018-2019 roster and #77 and #3 have been reused by current players Ersan Ilyasova (#77) and George Hill (#3)

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If you're willing to go the extra mile, buying a jersey can really get you into locked in and pumped for the live action. However, it should be kept in mind that official Nike NBA jerseys range from $110-$250, so they definitely are an investment. While there are other options available like the FastBreak jerseys by Fanatics, they are a simpler (still official) knockoff of the Nike jerseys. Also; beware buying sale jerseys. There are usually three reasons why jerseys are ever on sale (aside from a storewide sale): a player is injured, a player doesn't play much and is about to be traded, or a player has been traded. While there is nothing wrong with having the jersey of a player who went on to another team (like Kareem and Allen), you are not exactly going to get brownie points for wearing a Jabari Parker or a Thon Maker jersey anytime soon.

Know The Current Squad

Fiserv Forum, Home of the Milwaukee Bucks

www.nba.com

Everyone in Milwaukee has heard of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but who else is part of the supporting cast?

Starting Five for the 2018-2019 Milwaukee Bucks (Basketball Reference):

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- #13 Malcolm "The President" Brogdon at Shooting Guard

- #22 Khris "Money" Middleton at Small Forward

- #34 Giannis "The Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo at Power Forward

- #11 Brook "Splash Mountain" Lopez at Center

Student Perk

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Using your university email, you can get special discount ticket offers for home games by signing up for the Bucks' Student Rush Program. Tickets usually start at $15 per ticket, and the seats available may depend on who the Bucks are playing (and how well they are doing during the season).

Get Involved and Have Fun!

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Don't be afraid to get into it! The Bucks are an amazing team to watch and they love Bucks Nation. In addition to cheering at games, going to team events and player appearances can be great ways to make memories and even get an autograph or two!

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I think Giannis would agree!

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