Hateful Hip-Hop: Top U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Objectify Women 55 Times

Gabriel Hays, MRC News Busters, April 12, 2018

In the #MeToo era, many in the music industry have been producing and awarding sexually exploitive lyrics.

For the week of March 31st, 2018, eight of the top 20 songs in Billboard’s “R&B/Hip-Hop” chart were blatantly sexist and misogynistic. In these songs, women were portrayed as commodities or luxury goods — something to be owned or consumed and of no more importance than money, cars, liquor or drugs. Sexual lyrics are casually graphic and almost solely about women giving men pleasure.

In eight of the 20 songs, singers used the word “bitch” a total of 55 times, with 15 blatant instances of women being treated as sex objects. Cardi B, a woman and a wanna-be #MeToo activist, had a new Top-20 song about dominating “bitches” and giving them drugs. Newly minted rap star Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign rapped that they “can take yo’ bitch,” and receive oral sex from “hoes.” And Kendrick Lamar’s “King’s Dead” (which used “bitch” seven times) grossly detailed oral sex.

The song “Psycho” occupied the No. 3 spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hot-Hip Hop chart. Written by Post Malone and featuring artist Ty Dolla $ign, it depicted the luxuries the young rappers have earned, with the worst lyrics concerning the women they’ve acquired. They rapped about stealing “bitches,” and getting them to perform sex acts for them.

In just the second verse, several lines included the lyrics, “You should see the whip, promise I can take yo’ bitch. Dolla ridin’ in an old-school Chevy, it’s a drop top. Boolin’ with a thot-thot, she gon’ give me top top.”

Translation: “thot” is slang for a slut or a whore. It’s a word condensed from the phrase, “that hoe over there.” “Top” is also slang for oral sex.

Another current Top-20 fixture has been the rap group Migos. These three rappers have frequently written songs that objectify and are disparaging towards women. This week, their song “Stir Fry” sat at No. 8 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop listing. It’s lyrics stated that they have the “finest hoes,” and that one “hoe” in particular has “got a big ol’ onion booty, [that] make[s] the world cry.”

Another Migos’ song, “Walk It, Talk It,” was high in the chart as well. The song sat at No. 12 and was written about the rap moguls’ decadent lifestyle which included dominating loose and easy women. Several lyrics portrayed rappers’ desire for a threesome with women, “I want that thot, this thot, menagin’,” [as in menage a trois]; and a disparaging objectification of women’s bodies, “She just bought a new ass, but got the same boobs.”

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The second verse featured Kendrick Lamar, who rapped, “Get a bitch with a tan by the pool every day.” He also wrote about receiving oral sex from twins, saying, “I want some top from like two sets of twins. Twenty twin twins, yeah (yeah.) Ayy, bitch (bitch,) where your friends? (Yeah, yeah.)”

Speaking of Kendrick Lamar, an artist who was nominated for several Grammy nominations this year, his song “King’s Dead” ranked at 16 in Billboard’s list. The song was off the Black Panther soundtrack and featured several of this generation’s hip-hop heavyweights. For a movie that has been touted by some as the cultural achievement in 2018, it’s a shame that this song was filled with graphic violence, drug use, general disregard towards humanity, and one particularly graphic instance of misogyny.

The word bitch was thrown around everywhere (not to mention other kinds of profanity,) and, again, women were sex objects. In the second chorus, featured artist, Future, rapped about stealing another man’s “baby mama” and having sex with her: {snip}

The following stanza sums up the obscene chaos that is “King’s Dead,” including a vile, sing-song lyric in which rappers Future and Jay Rock talked about receiving oral sex in a vehicle. {snip}

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The 19th spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart belonged to Cardi B’s “Cartier Bardi.” Cardi has recently become an advocate for the #MeToo movement, using her status as a powerful hip-hop woman to demand better female inclusivity. But the irony and hypocrisy became all too-evident when the female rapper and her featured guest, 21 Savage, contributed to the abuse of women in this song’s explicit lyrics. Cardi’s chorus and verses included:

Bardi, put that lil’ bitch on molly, Bardi! Bitch on Molly… Your bitch wanna party with Cardi. Cardi got your bitch on molly… Who took your bitch out to party? I took your bitch and departed… I got your bitch and she naked, Ice on the cake when I bake it.

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.If Cardi B wants to be consistent, especially as a powerful face for #MeToo, why has she penned songs that include references to abusing sluts and hoes, in this case, giving them “molly” (ecstasy) so that they’re more willing to be coerced? Shouldn’t she be opposed to the copious use of the term “bitch” in her songs?

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“Insidious Connotations”

So those were the eight songs out of this week’s R&B/Hip-Hop top 20 that were explicitly sexist. That number was even higher the previous week, when it was 10 out of the top 20 songs. Obviously, the rate fluctuates, but the genre regularly facilitates a large chunk of content that is inflammatory towards females.

And Americans are consuming it.

{snip} In a recent article for the The Harvard Crimson, contributing writer Uzochi Nwoko wrote that the “average age of hip hop listeners is the lowest of all major music genres in the United States. Because of this impressionable demographic, the content of hip hop and rap music has particular potential for impact.”

Nwoko discussed that, while the message of wealth and empowerment have been appealing to African-American youth, they have also been receiving the more “insidious connotations.” One such example, the writer claimed, is “the saturation of rap and hip hop music with misogynistic lyrics that hypersexualize and give little or no respect to women.” Nwoko also reported her Billboard hip-hop findings for the week of Feb. 24, which was that an astonishing 18 out of the top 25 songs used language belittling towards women, such as “bitch,” “hoe,” and “whore.”

Take it from Grammy-winning, female rapper, Eve. She spoke to Newsweek about how misogyny is present in rap music “way more than it has ever been now.” Unlike many in the industry who seem reluctant to tackle the nature of Hip-Hop itself, Eve has argued that it’s the obscene lyrics that need to disappear. She stated, “Guys shouldn’t be rapping about it, guys shouldn’t be calling girls bitches, sluts — that should not be done, I do not condone it at all, but it needs to be a bigger change.”

Dr. Carolyn West, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington wrote in 2008 about the dangerous implications Hip-Hop culture poses towards young black women in particular. {snip}

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Why Does Hip-Hop Get a Pass?

This is problematic in and of itself, but what’s worse is that many of the media elite have made sweeping calls for universal reform in the realm of female inclusivity, without addressing the abusive implications of the hip-hop genre. They have mobilized to purge anyone who has done anything remotely abusive to women but ignore the industry’s worst offenders. All of this leads to the obvious question: Why do rappers get a pass from the media elites who impose and enforce politically correct speech and conduct?

Take the 2018 Grammys for example. The evening’s #MeToo sentiments were at a fever-pitch. Celebrities took to the red carpet wearing symbols of female solidarity (Cardi B included). Many speeches, and melodramatic performances were given for the sake of undoing sexism (here’s looking at you, Kesha), and even the Recording Academy’s president was all but run out of town for his insinuation that women should work harder to earn more in the industry. If it was such a dressing down of sexism in music media, why was the actual artistic content of the “woke” industry not even given a second glance?

Looking at the awards themselves, the most nominated artists at the 2018 Grammys were Jay-Z, with eight nominations, and Kendrick Lamar, with seven. (Lamar won five of his eight nominations) The LA Times reported that the “the Recording Academy’s big leap leap into the future appeared to be a long overdue recognition of hip-hop as a cultural force.” If this is the “future,” women haven’t come a long way at all, baby..

To have a high-profile music awards show celebrate a genre that is inundated with blatant sexism in the height of Hollywood’s #MeToo movement seems like doublethink. {snip} Even the Daily Beast argued that the rap industry practically promotes artists accused of real-life violence towards women. {snip}

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