People use music to deal with different issues in the society. In this regard, hip hop music has been used to address various questions, especially those which refer to women. The role of women in hip hop and rap has been changing over the years. Initially, women used hip hop to fight for women rights in society (Morgan, 435). They also used the music to make people aware of sexual harassment against females as well as exploitation. Moreover, the music was to depict what it meant to grow up as a black woman in society.
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Additionally, the role of women included addressing the issues of gender, race, and class discrimination. Nevertheless, in recent years, women have been depicted as weak persons dominated by men. However, women are sometimes not aware of the role they have gained in the music industry, especially in recent times (Morgan 441).
It is important to note that the notion of the female complaint is heavily depicted in today’s hip hop. Various women who sing hip hop and rap usually represent themselves as independent persons who do not fall for cheap tricks used by men. In this regard, women are shown as the ones being able to take care of their affairs, including going to night clubs without having to depend on men (Rose 173).
On the same note, the lyrics in hip hop and rap, as well as the videos, are aimed at telling men that they should not think that dressing has anything to do with behavior. In today’s hip hop and rap, women represent themselves as people of integrity who can easily survive with or without men. Similarly, the lyrics are directed at reprimanding various negative behaviors of men towards women. On the same note, women used hip hop and rap nowadays to warn the rest to be aware of the canning behaviors of men (Rose 157).
While looking at the various roles of women in hip hop and rap, it is also important to note that the way women are presented has various effects on society. To begin with, the way women in wrap dress while shooting their videos is explicit. These dressing styles have been taken up by women and ladies in society (Hill and Ramsaran 92). Moreover, women are also depicted as sex objects. Thus such an image negatively affects the morals of the society.
Consequently, there has been a lot of concern from various people who argue that this representation of women has immense effects on culture. Nonetheless, there is a lot of subjectivity in this criticism because men are also represented as violent and rough people who spend all their money on women. Regrettably, there are very few people who complain about men and the way they are depicted in hip hop and rap.
Notably, women have changed their role to the extent that they practically fight against men in the hip hop industry. Arguably, this has been prompted by the fact that men in hip hop and rap want to depict themselves as the rulers in society. Consequently, they imply that women are there to be used by men and should, therefore, be at their disposal.
Such an attitude has various impacts on society, especially on young people. It is important to note that human beings learn well by seeing and copying what others do. In this regard, women representing themselves as rebellious send a wrong message to the youth, especially teenage girls who think that they should be totally against men (Hill and Ramsaran 98).
Moreover, the message sent through music has turned to have too much emphasis on the conflict between men and women. As a result, young boys and girls get the wrong idea about how to treat people of the opposite sex; thus, hip hop and rap music negatively affects the relationship between the youth. Also, the explicit language used in the lyrics of hip hop and rap has entered the day to day communication of young boys and girls.
Hill, Simona J. and Dave Ramsaran. Hip Hop and Inequality: Searching for the “Real” Slim Shardy. New York: Cambria Press, 2009. Print.
Morgan, Marcyliena, “Hip-Hop Women Shredding the Veil: Race and Class in Popular Feminist Identity.” South Atlantic Quarterly 104.3 (2005): 425-444.
Rose, Tricia. “Bad Sistas: Black Women Rappers and Sexual Politics in Rap Music.” Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1994. 146-182. Print.