Hip-Hop Against Misogyny

By Uloop Archives on November 19, 2012

It’s not a secret that hip hop has the worst reputation when it comes to women. Whether underground or mainstream, many rappers have tainted hip hop with misogynistic lyrics. Many women, feminists or not, when approached, have exclaimed their disdain for the genre and culture as a whole because let’s face it, being labeled a “bitch” or a “ho” isn’t something that would make anyone feel good. Many misogynistic songs reach the radio, and unfortunately we are hardly ever exposed to the songs with positive meaning towards women, and so I compiled a short list of great songs that I feel counteract against the stereotypical image of hip hop:

1) “Doo Wop” by Lauryn Hill
One of my all-time favorites from Lauryn Hill; the first portion of the song’s lyrics describe a girl’s sensitivity to peer pressure and ultimately surrendering her virginity to a man she barely knows. Hill speaks through her perspective in an encouraging manner, telling a message to all women to never easily give up your virginity to a man out of fear he will leave you, and to always treat yourself with respect. She tells girls, “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem.”

2) “Keep Your Head Up” by Tupac
This was one of the first songs I have listened to directed to women. The song addresses the wrongness of frequent misogyny from other songs derived from other male rappers. Tupac raps: “And since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, and our game from a woman, I wonder why we take from our women? Why we rape our women? Do we hate our women? I think it’s time to kill for our women. Time to heal our women, be real to our women.”

3) “Heart” by Rocky Rivera
“Heart” celebrates three incredibly strong women of our history, Gabriela, Angela Davis, and Dolores, and their thoughts and struggles. This song shows the significance of women in our past we hardly ever hear about and emphasizes their strength, wit, and courage.

4) “Womenology” by KRS One
KRS One believes in order for a man to have the right woman by his side, he needs to respect her as a human being. He also acknowledges women’s participation in society, stating “Begin with the heart, our sisters is a living art. Always givin’, always deliverin’, always making something bigger from just a little part. Big up to the sisters that start up businesses with nothing but muffins.”

5) “The Light” by Common
There is only one word I could describe Common’s relationship towards the woman he describes in the song–respect. Common tackles the use of the word “bitch” in Hiphop, claiming, “I never call you my bitch or even my boo. There’s so much in a name and so much more in you.” He also counters the usual correlation between sex and women frequently, stating “I know the sex ain’t gon’ keep you, but as my equal it’s how I must treat you.”

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