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Smack downer

Hip-Hop Misogyny: It Ain’t What It Used To Be
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 23, 2009

VIDEO: Necro live at Rock the Bells

We’ve got different opinions / You feel women should be Christian sitting home knitting and watching children / I feel women should be stripping and sinning – syringes in ‘em tripping while their pimp brainwashes ‘em in a building – Necro, “Light My Fire”

I haven’t come hereto academically justify West Coast credos about assimilating hoes into housewives. Instead I’ve come to mourn the commercialization of misogynistic rap lyrics. It used to be controversial, detestable, and even kind of a special occasion when 2 Live Crew said your dad will “be disgusted when he sees your pussy busted.” (By the way, they’ll be busting pussy at the Middle East Downstairs this Friday.) Nowadays I wouldn’t be surprised to hear 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me” on a Nickelodeon commercial for hula hoops or Hello Kitty hearing aids: this for a song that casually rhymes “Shush girl, shut your lips” with “Do the Helen Keller, and talk with your hips.” 

Who the fuck do these kids think they are? After all, I grew up watching such lyrically cunning MCs as Kool G Rap and Kool Keith not-so-metaphorically smack down women. And back then there were consequences: Old schoolers risked getting sued and picketed, and they had to be inventive with their flows. Keith left his “style written on your cooch;” 2 Live publicly crucified their political nemesis Tipper Gore; G Rap went so far as to warn pedestrians to continuewalking past when he’s whooping on agirl’s ass. I’m just not hearing that sort of chauvinistic audacity lately.

In researching this essay, I did what any respectable CNN or MSNBC reporter would do, and asked Facebook friends for tips on women-hating rappers. Within 10 minutes I had two dozen responses – a lot of people mentioned West Coast hooligans Too $hort and AMG (the latter of whom scripted the eternal “Bitch Betta Have My Money”). And R.A. the Rugged Man checked in personally to say that he’d better make the cut. (R.A., a Long Island roughneck, is considered by many underground aficionados to have originated degenerate whiteboy hip-hop. If you were to make a desert island list of misogynistic rap classics, his Cunt Renaissance” with Notorious B.I.G. would register up top). 

But -- to the relief of some artists who deserted their O.J. personas long ago -- I’m not compiling a compendium of naughty rhymesayers. And I’m not concerned with the social implications of rampant hypersexuality penetrating the teen pop marketplace. My point is this: these new artists who are perpetrating aural sex crimes – from LMFAO to Mickey Avalon – just aren’t fucking doing it right. Or maybe it’s a credibility issue. When the puke from brokeNCYDE play-chokes a teenage girl in the video for “Freaxxx,”I’m just not convinced that he’s even into asphyxiation, let alone filthy backstage gang bangs.

I’m passionate about my terribly offensive hip-hop, and I’m concerned about the course that it may be taking. My gut craves tales of whores and mayhem that flow from the subconscious – the kind of scumbaggery that most folks feel guilty about even contemplating (unless, for some reason, it’s in a movie). I don’t feel badly about this fetish -- the older I get, the more I appreciate Necro’s tales of inserting produce into crotch-less panty holes. I’m Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, and bumping smack-a-ho hip-hop is my jerking off in the shower. No manufactured band of suburban faux-punk wankstas can steal that joy away from me.

 2 Live Crew


I won’t attempt to give an exhaustive account of misogyny in popular music, since I would certainly receive countless emails about noteworthy vagrants whom I overlooked. According to Phil Spector, the Crystals liked getting smacked around (his wife, Ronnie, later begged to differ); the Rolling Stones kept girls under their thumb; the Misfits hacked the heads off little girls and put ’em on their wall; and heavy metal – well, that’s another essay entirely.  Suffice it to say that while every genre has taken its shot at misogyny, hip-hop was the first to turn it into an art form.

Misogyny is a regular trending topic in hip-hop discussions because it’s become part of the canon – it’s more or less expected, even at the highest levels of the game. Bono might be a megalomaniacal ladies man, but he’s not singing “Bono gave a hoochie mono,” or “U2 don’t apply to getting head in bed.” Furthermore, females get assaulted at the highest levels of the rap game. One of Eminem’s first hits was about murdering his wife. Jay-Z – who is such a socially acceptable figure that Obama called to thank a brother for helping the campaign – is renowned for pimp rhetoric. Jay’s99 problems were famously bitch-free; he had his first major smash in the super slimy “Ain’t No Nigga”; and one of Hova’s most revered lines (albeit one he jacked from Big L) is: “All I’ve got for chicks is hard dick and bubble gum.”

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