Welcome back from Spring Break and to a snow day on campus!
A little adventure during my Spring Break lead me to ponder a couple things about being a feminist and my love for hip-hop. I went to Florida to visit a family friend and get some fun in the sun! I was out dancing one night and the club was packed. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know I live on the dance floor! (Side note- Turn Around and Get Your Feminist On is still going strong!! 🙂 ) So here is what went down…
I’m dancing along to the music and Trey Songz’ song “2 Reasons” starts coming into the mix. I know whats coming “I only came here for two reasons, the bitches and the drinks, the bitches and the drinks, the bitches….you get it, in it’s repetitive nature. I start to walk off the dance floor to get some air and let that song play out because, personally, I’m tired of being called a bitch! As I’m walking away I hear the “clean version” playing and Trey is repeating “The ladies and the drinks, the ladies and the drinks, the ladies and the drinks”. My head whips around, I turn to my friend and proclaim “Now THIS is something I f**ks with!” (Pardon my language, I was excited). I re-joined the sweaty dance floor and worked it out to this clean version of “2 Reasons”.
This got me thinking- why were they playing this clean version? It was a 21+ club on a Saturday night. Maybe it’s the only one the DJ had or maybe the DJ preferred the clean version, just as I do? Who knows but I appreciated it. This also just re-sparked an issue that I have been struggling with as a feminist. Hip-hop. I love lots of hip-hop music from Biggie, Pac, Dre, Snoop, Big L, to Jay-Z, Kendrick, Chance, Common, Talib, Kanye, and more. I grew up with an older brother who was a hip-hop head and I thought everything he did and listened to was cool so that is where my love was born and it grew as I couldn’t stop bobbin’ my head to dope beats or spittin’ a couple bars before family dinner with my bro (take a moment and laugh while you just picture a young 10 year old white girl rap battling her brother).
Although my love for hip-hop is strong it has always bothered me how derogatory some of the lyrics can be to women. As a woman aspiring to work in the music industry it’s easier to see- Sex sells and profanity is popular so why wouldn’t people produce what people are going to buy? As a feminist, I’m over here like- Why is it necessary to call a woman a “bitch” when it’s just as easy to say “ladies” and the song sounds better to me?? I am still wrestling with this personally. For now, I am taking it on a case by case bases. It depends on who the artist is and what the overall message of the song is. Also, there has definitely been a slight shift in the misogynistic nature of hip-hop of the years but we still have a ways to go. Maybe if we replace a couple more songs about “bitches” to songs about “ladies” we could start to make a difference. Does anyone else struggle with this? Let me know how you find balance when your feminist views don’t match up with something you like? I’ve heard other people talk about makeup or shaving, what is your feminist struggle? Leave a comment and let me know!