“Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that. She ain’t even know it.” Rapper Rick Ross says this in his verse of the song U.O.E.N.O and it has received criticism.
He lost his partnership with Reebok, and he was eventually removed from the song. Many people fail to realize that misogynistic lyrics such as these in hip hop is neither new nor uncommon. Turn on the radio and look up at the songs that are mainstream right now and you will find songs filled with misogynistic lyrics that completely bash, undermine and insult women.
Rap music has become mainstream and plays a big role in the lives of many, especially today’s youth. Influential rappers such as Eminem, Kanye West and even Tupac have songs that contain explicit lyrics that depict women as sexual objects who kowtow to the need of every man. Women are often referred to as “bitches”, “hoes”, “thots” and a variation of other degrading words. Rap music degrades women by over-sexualizing them and affects women’s self-esteem by setting specific beauty standards.
Rap music puts women down and silences them. They are depicted as weak, submissive beings who are only good for sex. This theme is a common one in many rap songs. There are a few rappers who try to defy the norm and have lyrics that uplift women. Examples include socially conscious rappers like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar who have a written a few songs that uplift women. However, both rappers still contain underlying misogynistic themes in their music. For instance, J. Cole has several songs that talk positively about women, but he also has songs that put women down such as his hit song “No Role Modelz.” This J. Cole song uses the hook, “Don’t save her, She don’t wanna be saved,” an attack at reality show women whom he believes are all “hoes”.
Misogyny in rap music is considered the norm. Many young women are big fans of hip hop music and continue to support these artists and sing along to their music. Many women have learned to accept the way rappers degrade them. They continue to support these rappers by buying their music, going to their concerts, and shouting out their lyrics. Even female rappers are joining men in demeaning other women. Rappers such as Nicki Minaj have songs that bash other women, referring to them as “stupid hoes” and “thotties”. In a field dominated by males, female rappers struggle to be heard and to be taken seriously. It is easier to be male in the rap game than a female. Many female rappers such as Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea have to use their sex appeal in order to make it in the game. They join male rappers in bashing their own gender because that is the only way they can fit in and be taken seriously.
Rap music needs to be more uplifting and it needs to remind women that they are queens who deserve respect, love, and encouragement. Rappers need to be conscious of who their audience is and rap accordingly. Because in the status-quo, loving rap music as a woman is like being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.