Today’s society is heavily impacted by the music world. Music has a way with influencing its listeners, and many may argue that for some music types, this is a bad thing, especially for black women. Even with many new genres arising from the contemporary music scene , hip-hop has maintained it’s leading popularity. In Jennifer McLune’s “Hip-Hop’s Betrayal of Black Women”, Hip-Hop is portrayed as a negative contender in the advocacy of female activism. Through the argument in this article, it can be understood that hip-Hop music more often that not, degrades women and what it means to be female.
Any person who has taken time to listen to more than one Hip-Hop, or rap song, has bore witness to the disrespect it hands to women. When one listen to a rap song, it is almost guaranteed that there will be at least one phrase belittling women down to the level of a simple object. Rountree begins her article by sharing an excerpt from Kevin Powell’s “ Notes of a Hip Hop Head.” In this excerpt Powell is describing what one can gather about the opinion of a woman from the perspective of a hip hop artist. Powell uses the terms “ Baby momma”, “chicken head”, and “bitches” to describe this. Rountree’s argument gains validity here because of Powell’s statement. It can be seen here that women are itemized and lowered to a pitiful level by this music genre.
In Rountree’s argument, she proposes the idea that its not only men In hip hop who degrade women, but also female artists. She proceeds to describe instances where female rappers “… are often just as male-identified, violent, materialistic, and ignorant as their male peers.” ( Rountree 215) When some one listens to hip hop, say a young female listener, and they hear a male speaking ill of black women, the listener might develop an opinion that men have bad attitudes towards women and therefor have no respect for them. However, if a young female listener hears another female rapping lyrics also degrading to women, the young listener may then come to the conclusion that it is okay to objectify black women too. This, again, validates Rountree’s argument against hip hop.
When an issue arises there is only one way to resolve it and that is to bring it to light. The issue of belittling black women in hip hop songs is evident enough, however it will not be dissolved by a solution unless the victims of this disrespectful act speak out against it. Rountree states that “ Black women writers and activists were called traitors for refusing to be silent about the misogynistic order of things…” Defending a righteous opposition should never be discouraged among people. Instead, the outcry black women make against the “wome-hating rapper”, should be heard. Rountree’s valid point urges those opposed to hip-hop’s message to stand up for their respect,
Cathleen Rountree delivers a strong and purposeful intention in her article. The issue of hip hop’s negative influence and the connotation of black women mentioned in it, is a sad yet, true issue. This article provides a sound basis for opposition and rejection of hip hop and it’s misconstrued message.