Negative Effects of Rap and Hip Hop in Society

Table of Content

When rap and hip-hop was first written, it was meant to be a type of self-expression that people could sing and relate to. These catchy, addicting songs changed from lyrics about challenges to focus on sex and words that offend and degrade women. On January 26, 2009, Jamie Foxx released his number one hit ‘Blame It’ featuring T-Pain. This hit peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs chart for fourteen consecutive weeks, which made it the second longest-running number one song on the chart, selling over one billion downloads. Like many other hip-hop songs these days, this song contains misogyny throughout its lyrics. In this essay, I will demonstrate how Jamie Foxx’s song, ‘Blame It’ endorses the degradtion of women by describing the actions taken in his music video, the exsessive use of alcohol, exploring how these actions encourage misogyny, and detailing the connotative and denotative signals that circulate throughout the text.

Throughout this song, Foxx sings about getting a girl more and more drunk until she is no longer aware of her surroundings. This song is extremely wrong on so many different levels, one being that it condones date rap. Sex should always be consensual, no matter how intoxicated someone is. First off, I would like to disscuss a cultural related dominant ideology, the objectification of women and misogyny. Misogyny is the hatred of women and femininity. It literally translates to ‘hatred of the womb.’ Misogyny is manifested in countless ways, such male privilege, the belittling of women, violence against women, sexual objectification, and patriarchy. Patriarchy is an example of a dominant ideology. In fact, it is a system that privileges men and masculinity.

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This video demonstrates misogyny by its lyrics and actions. For example, some of the lyrics include, ‘but she don’t wanna seem like she easy,’ ‘you don’t even care now,’ and ‘had her looking her boyfriend like fuck that nigga.’ He is degrading women by saying that they are easy to get, even if they have a boyfriend. Foxx is trying to get this girl drunk so that she does not care and cannot react to the things happening around her. Basically, he is saying that women do not care if they get raped or so on if they are drunk. The are also numerous examples of sexual objectification in th song. For instance, some of the lyrics are, ‘got you feeling loose, ‘feeling on yo butt what,’ ‘she put her body on me,’ ‘what you been missing in your life when I get inside,’ you open up like a book, I ain’t trippin’ cause I’ma read ya,’ ‘Shawty , I ain’t trippin’, I just wanna please ya,’ ‘it’s going down, we can go kick it like Judo,’ ‘now she got her hand on my leg,’ ‘got my seats all wet in my ride,’ and ‘then my pants got bigga.’ In his music video, men are throwing hundred dollar bills at strippers.

These lyrics and actions are promoting women to be seen as objects without regarding their dignity. These women are objects of sexual desire to please and satisfy men. This song normalizes this dominant ideology. Normative refers to the assumed norms and standards of correctness. It is normalized due to its actions. It normalizes misogyny in the music video, because the men are all dancing, smiling, and having a good old time at the club. The women are never alone, they are always surrounded by a group of men. This song functions hegemonically. Hegemony is domination by consent. It is the process by which ideological practices come to be seen as commonsense. It is hegemonic, because the music video demonstrates compulsive heterosexuality. Heterosexuality is the sexual attraction and behavior amongst people of the oppositve gender.

There is this one specifc scene towards the middle of the video where these two women are kissing in the club while Jamie Foxx is standing right behind them and he is watching them in shock. Most of the video contains scenes of men flirting with women and women sitting on men’s laps. This song uses specific markers to create connotative and denotative meanings that circulate within the text. Connotative meanings are secondary meanings which are deeply attached to ideology. The way the women dress in this music video is connotative. All of these women are wearing short, tight dresses that expose their body with heals. The denotative meaning is the commonsense meaning. Misogyny and heterosexuality are both denotative meanings.

On the other hand, a social related dominant ideology in Jamie Foxx’s song, ‘Blame It’ is alcohol as a positive problem solver. For example, some of the lyrics include, ‘blame it on the booze,’ ‘blame it on the alcohol,’ ‘blame it on the vodka,’ ‘blame it on the Henny,’ got you feeling dizzy,’ ‘and know I know that she’s tipsy,’ ‘girl what you drinking,’ ‘goin’ let sink in,’ ‘just one more round and you’re down I’ll pouring,’ ‘fill another cup up,’ ‘I’ma take a shot of Nuvo, shawty, didn’t you know,’ and ‘shawty got drunk, thought it all was a dream.’ In today’s society, alcohol is viewed as an excuse for our actions and this music video promtoes these actions as acceptable. According to the website, Campus Safety Magazine, one in three sexual assaults involve the perpetrator being intoxicated (Hattersley-Grey, 2012). Jamie Foxx is encouraging this woman to drink so that he can take sexual advantange of her and then just blame his actions on the alcohol. This song normalizes and naturalizes this dominant ideology. The visuals normalize this song by showing bottles of alcohol with men drinking and smiling. The lyrics also normalize this song by saying, ‘with they Henny in they cups screamin’ and ‘hold your drinks up high.’

This song functions counterhegemonically. Counterhegemony is the process that is opposite and chanllenges the dominant world view. Some of these counterhegemoic signals in the music video are the expensive bottles of liquor and cars. The very first scene of the music video is famous people pulling up to this night club in their expensive car. Finally, this song uses specific markers to create connotative and denotative meanings that circulate within the text. The shot glasses and the martiniglasses shown in the music video are both connotative. The spastic motion and editing, the blurs on occasion, and the quickcuts and zooms in this music video are all denotative. Lastly, two of his lyrics are, ‘money ain’t a thing, if it ain’t throwin’ it up in the sky’ and ‘when them broke fellas holla, tell ’em, bye.’ Both of these lyrics are denotative signals, because Jamie Foxx is saying that only rich people can party and live this life.

As shown above, rap and hip-hop songs similar to Jamie Foxx’s song, ‘Blame It’ are degrading towards women. These songs include topics regarding sex, sexism, drugs, alcohol, and violence. The way females are degraded through these current songs destroys womens confidence, which give men the assumption that is is acceptable for women to be treated this way. This causes women to believe that they are nothing more than objects. The more the media portrays women in negative ways and encourages gender roles and stereotypes, the more people will continue to disrespect women without recieving any consequences. Men will continue to blame alcohol for their actions. It is important for us to remember that alcohol is not the solution for our actions. Music plays an important role in so many peoples’ lives so if they hear their favorite artist on the radio bashing on women, they too will beleive that it is acceptable, but in reality, this is not.

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Negative Effects of Rap and Hip Hop in Society. (2022, May 15). Retrieved from

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