The hip-hop culture and feminism seem opposed to each other. However, there are feminists in the hip-hop society, and some researchers think that music can be used to fight for equality.
The article “The Stage Hip-Hop Feminism Built: A New Directions Essay” was written by three feminist teachers from different universities. The paper is about various connections between feminism and hip-hop culture. The authors tell the stories of artists who have supported the feminist movement and of the problems they had giving some recent examples of the female rappers getting critiqued for their opinions. They think that hip-hop music can be a way to reach young audiences and educate them on the aspects of feminism and equality. They cite the studies which show that hip-hop deeply affects the lives of the younger generation to prove that (Durham, Cooper, and Morris 6). The article mostly avoids the general problem of the overwhelming masculinity of the hip-hop community.
In my opinion, the authors are right for the most part. The hip-hop culture was always about positive changes in society. That was the original goal of the artists. So using that music to promote feminism can be a good idea. Especially considering how some female artists say that they are empowered by the music. It promoted change once and can be used the same way again. However, I think the authors ignore a huge problem with mainstream hip-hop. Currently, it is completely dominated by masculine gangstas. And if the music will help change the views about women it needs to be mainstream. Underground hip-hop is still very varied and interesting but very few people listen to it. And people who grew up with the music of modern rappers are unlikely to accept the sudden changes. They probably will just get angry.
However, by promoting the different views to the hip-hop audience, we can solve another problem. In the documentary “Hip-Hop Beyond Beats & Rhymes,” the author goes to the hip-hop convention in Miami, and all the young rappers are only interested in violence, guns, and “pimping” (TN216). That really underlines the problems with the genre. It is not hard to understand why that happens. Hip-hop comes from violent places and the artists really focus on that (Chang 8). People can sing and rap about whatever they want, but when they all only focus on one thing it is bad. The genre becomes boring and stops moving anywhere. And that is happening to hip-hop right now. By bringing new themes into the mainstream hip-hop, artists can avoid becoming completely the same. Currently, it can be hard to figure out who you are listening to. If some female rappers start to include some feminist ideas into their songs, it can help the whole genre as well as the feminist movement. And if some other ideas come into the mainstream hip-hop that is fine as well. It would just be good to see the genre become more inspired.
It is hard to tell, how the people can change the focus of the mainstream hip-hop. The modern audience is completely sure that anything without guns, violence, and “hoes” is not real hip-hop. Somehow that idea needs to be changed and giving more attention to the feminist hip-hop artists may be a good idea.
Chang, Jeff. “Necropolis.” Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2005. 7-19. Print.
Durham, Aisha, Brittney C. Cooper, and Susana M. Morris. “The Stage Hip-Hop Feminism Built: A New Directions Essay”. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38.3 (2013): 721-737. Print.
TN216. “Hip-Hop Beyond Beats & Rhymes.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 2015. Web.