A lot of apologist and racist enablers want to compare the defamation of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team by Don Imus to the lyrics of popular hip-hop rap artist. Like my Mom would tell me, “if all those hip-hop artist jumped off a bridge does that mean Mr. Imus needs to do it too? Just because they do it doesn’t mean you have to.”
One comment recently read was that the players who were slandered are probably so accustomed to being called whores (corrected spelling and reference) from all the rap music they listen to. The assumptions are that the majority of these women are black therefore they must listen to rap and hip-hop music, all rap and hip-hop music refer to women as whores, and the current state of rap and hip-hop music is a product of the culture mostly associated with black women.
Personally I know nothing about the women of Rutgers other than what I hear or read in the news. All I can say is that it’s an obvious yank out of someone’s ass to say that these women listen to rap and hip-hop simply because they’re predominantly black. There is no doubt that the same people who would claim that a predominantly black female team would listen to rap and hip-hop would never utter a derogatory word about a predominantly white team and their listening preference of red neck, trailer park trash enhanced country music by welfare whitey and his no-teeth tobacco chewing gang.
Rap and hip-hop music has been stereotyped and pigeonholed almost from its conception. I remember listening to some of the first rap songs by people like the Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, and Fab Five Freddy. The music was silly at worse. These artists wouldn’t hesitate to steal a thumping beat from another song and slap some poetic rhymes on top that talked about absolutely nothing. The most offensive thing about these lyrics was somebody’s poor cooking skills where the fried chicken tasted like wood.
Other artists came along and used the hip-hop forum as a way to bring attention to social issues of the urban community. Artist like Tupac Shakur brought attention to the violence and hardship of growing up in the inner-city poverty. His song “Keep Ya Head Up” is a provocative message about black women and their struggle just to survive. Biggie Smalls and Puff Daddy developed a number of songs that many black people could relate to. In many respects it was a lot like the enslaved black people who toiled in fields singing to help keep the despair of their misery away.
But what has happened since then? Major record labels and record producers have discovered the profitability of focusing on the hardcore rap artist. Rap and hip-hop has been hijacked from a medium to express social issues into an image of self hate and irresponsibility of the inner city community. The positive social message of rap changed from one of hope and togetherness to messages of narcissism with rappers link Snoop Dogg and Nelly talking about being pimps and slapping whores.
Another favorite that talks about social responsibility in the inner community was Queen Latifah’s UNITY. This song is about social conscious and awareness. The lyrics explicitly tell women to not tolerate being referred to as bitches or whores. But where is Ms. Latifah now? The sister abandoned her positive social conscious a long time ago. Today she’s more likely to appear as a spokesman for a makeup company and making movies playing a modern day mammy for a reluctant Steve Martin. How’s that for UNITY?
Corporate record labels consistently market the profitable poison of gangsta rap. It reinforces the very image or stereotype that many people want to convey of black people at the detriment of black people. And to these greedy corporations delight there are just way too many black artist, singers, comedians, athletes, actors, intellectuals, talk show personalities, doctors, lawyers, government officials, government workers, and all manner of professionals and entrepreneurs who are more than ready and willing to tom and promote black inferiority and/or black conformity for a healthy paycheck. They may live larger than most of us, but they certainly don’t live better.
But truth be known not all rap and hip-hop artist are advocates for social misbehaviors. Don’t let the all the hype fool you. There are a ton of hip-hop artist out there that promote positive energy for the black community without sitting in the shade on the plantation porch. I can’t say enough about the many brothers and sisters who do their thing and maintain the integrity of their racial identity in the process. My suggestion is that if Mr. Imus and the other racist enablers want to emulate black some form of black, urban, or hip-hop behavior they should choose better role models.