African American and Black Women
The article “Hip-Hop Betrayal of Black Women” was written by Jennifer McLune and appeared in Z magazine Online in the July 2006 issue. McLune argues that sexism in hip-hop’s culture is a big part and has helped make the industry what it is today. This article can be divided into 5 different sections. In the first section, she talks about Kevin Powell and how he writes how men talk about women in hip-hop. McLune goes on to say that even wealthy white boys talked about African American women in their songs, yet its okay with society. The second section she gives examples of entertainers that talk down on women and some that do not. Common, The Roots, and Talib Kweli are the artist are the artist she names that don’t talk bad about women, but they don’t stop other artist from doing so. Also they back up the artist that does degrade women so in reality they aren’t doing enough. Even black female artist are right along with the men talking about other females (McLune, 297).
In the following section, McLune talks about the protest that women have done with little help to the situation. The misogyny is an attack on a woman’s character and it makes the black community looks bad as a whole (McLune, 298). The fourth section is about the acceptance of the hip-hop culture towards black women. Everyone makes excuses and tries to justify what’s going on in hip-hop, but few have actual answers to help. At a point black women writers were called traitors for writing articles and complaining about what was going on (McLune, 299). The author concludes that hip-hop thrives around the fact they bash black women and if they didn’t do this then black women would be more respected in today’s society. After careful examination of McLune’s use of rhetorical appeals, evidence of pathos, logos, and ethos were used throughout the article. McLune wrote about the discrimination of black women throughout hip-hop. The dominate rhetorical appeal used by McLune is pathos, which “is an emotional appeal that involves using language that will stair the feelings of the audience” (Hooper, etal 86). She complains about being a black woman and hearing the excuses for men when they talk about women in hip-hop and how it is just okay with society. McLune is also irate about the fact that Eve, who is a female rapper raps about women in a bad way and doesn’t seem to think that, that is not right. Another type of appeal McLune uses is logos “which demonstrates an effective use of reason and judicious use of evidence” (Hooper, etal 86). Back in the 60s it was wrong and considered unfair to demonize colored men, but yet the men in today’s society are disrespecting colored women.
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The author explains how record labels exploit this and benefit off of the disrespect artist show black women. The least used appeal by McLune is ethos “which establishes the speaker’s or writer’s credibility” (Hooper, etal 86). Hip-hop owes its success to woman hating. Few artist dare to be different and not speak badly about women and the ones that do, they don’t make it clear that they feel it’s disrespectful for rappers to demoralize women which is not good in itself. McLune uses evidence to support her claim, one type of evidence she uses is examples she brings up Jay-Z rap lyrics and how he talks about women in his songs, “I pimp hard on a trick, look Fuck if your leg broke bitch, hop up on your good leg.” Also talks about good rappers such as Talib Kweli and how he has been praised for his song “Black Girl Pain”, but at the same time McLune feels he isn’t fully aware of the pain a black girl goes through. Another type is when McLune uses expert opinions such as Kevin Powell, she quotes him in “Notes of a Hip Hop Head” he writes that you’d think men didn’t like women as much as they talked about them and how they refer to them as baby mommas, chickenheads, or b*****s (McLune, 297). McLune believes that hip-hop has benefitted from the woman bashing and Powell believes that it has spawned on its own terms of making something out of nothing.
A third type is comparisons between other women writers that have spoke about this topic whose articles have been pushed away and they have been called traitors for refusing to be silent about the disrespect the rap community has given black women. Finally, several types of rhetorical fallacies are apparent in this article. One type is ad hominem “which refers to a personal attack on an opponent that draws attention away from the issues under consideration” (Hooper, etal 93). McLune talks about Jay-Z and his rap lyrics how they are degrading women and explains that he is one of the worst ones in the industry. Another type of fallacy is bandwagon “which is an argument saying, in effect, everyone’s doing or saying or thinking this, so you should, too” (Hooper, etal 93). For example, she says that same rappers don’t talk about women in their raps, but they don’t say anything to the rappers that do. In reality they know if they were to say something to those rappers that they probably would have a hard time getting somewhere in the rap industry. A final type of rhetorical fallacy is red herring “that means dodging the real issue by drawing attention to an irrelevant one” (Hooper, etal 95). Kevin Powell blames the negatives in hip-hop on everything but the hip-hop culture itself, he thinks it is another reason for that. McLune also talks about rap lyrics that are bad, but doesn’t bring up the good rap lyrics about women. As a result of man’s betrayal of black women in hip-hop the black women is not respected in today’s society which has been talked about in several articles.
Another author who addresses this issue is Johnnetta B. Cole in “What Hip-Hop has done to Black Women” Cole explains that it has been a growing war between Black men and women since the 60s and hip-hop is a significant and influential site of contemporary gender battles (Cole 90). Both authors state that hip-hop has generated a lot of profit from the way that rap artist talk down on black women. We can follow McLune’s proposal to boycott rap music and maybe just maybe they will realize what they are saying in their songs actually have an impact on the black community and that to make things better artist have to respect woman. Music is a big part in everyday life and it would be hard to get everybody on the same page as to boycott it, but something must happen because black women do need to be treated much better by black men. If society can manage to boycott rap music then artist would be forced to listen to the peoples concern and change their music for the better (McLune, 300).
Cole, Johnnetta B. “What hip-hop has done to Black women.” Ebony Mar. 2007: 90. Print. Hooper, M.Clay, Teta Banks, D. Marzette, Beth Arnette Wade. Eds. Analytical Writing: A Guide to College Composition I. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. 2011. Print. McLune, Jennifer. “Hip-Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women.” Analytical Writing: A Guide to College Composition I. Ed. M. Clay Hooper, Teta Banks, D. Marzette, Beth Arnette Wade. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2011. 296-300. Print.