Violence against and objectification of women has gained a lot of attention in today’s society. Zeba Blay, for instance, in “What We Forget When We Talk About Hip Hop’s Women Problem”, a post published on Medium.com, highlights how the portrayal of women in the hip hop scene has not changed much over the years. Blay reports, “Since the 1980’s, hip hop artists have been accused of objectifying women, demeaning women and promoting violence and sexual abuse against women.” Rapper Ice Cube has defended the use of the words “bitches” and “hoes.” He was quoted in this article saying, “If you’re a bitch, you’re probably not going to like us. If you’re a ho, you probably don’t like us. If you’re not a ho or a bitch, don’t be jumping to the defense of these despicable females.”
I would guess that Monica Achyarya would agree with Blay. In her article,“Objectification Of Women In Hip Hop Music Videos” posted in medium.com Achyarya speaks about how women are portrayed in music videos. For example, they are seen swaying around in provocative clothing. Achyarya exclaims, “I was profoundly horrified to discover how much women are objectified in hip hop music videos.” She points to more recent artists including the song cover for “Tip Drill” by Nelly, “Badd” by Ying Yang Twins, “Heido Ho” by Common and many more. She argues that the hip hop industry could be sending the wrong message to young females about the proper way to catch a guy’s attention and also give artists the wrong ideas of how to make it big in hip hop.
There are still some people who do not believe Hip Hop and violence against women go together. In “Rappers and Rape: Is There A Violent Culture Flourishing in Hip-Hop?” an article posted in collegehiphop.com, Dr. Hoston implies, “The art form is saturated with such references. However, there is not a causation between rap and rape in the medium of popular culture. The crimes of sexual assault and rape are primarily male dominated and interracial. Acts of rape would happen regardless.” It appears that Dr. Hoston would agree with Blay and Achyarya that sexual assault and objectification of women is a problem, but would disagree that hip hop/rap music is a major cause of this endless cycle. However, the article does include details about hip hop artists who have either been accused of or convicted of crimes surrounding sexual assault. These artists include Yung Gleesh, Cee Lo, Haystacks, Sean Kingston and many more. President Barack Obama even has an opinion when it comes to this issue. In this article, he argues that, “Artists have a unique power to change minds and attitudes and get us thinking and talking about what matters. And all of us, in our own lives, have the power to set an example.”
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
-President Barack Obama