Don Emus in the Morning show, Emus referred to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team who is comprised of 8 African Americans and two white players as “nappy headed hoes”.
Many people were outraged and emended that he be fired. In the past 2 decades, African Americans have been the center of a disturbing controversy in the world of Hip hop music. This genre of music promotes the belief that the way to be a man is to have power and money. Many times the music is filled with obscenities, glorifying violence and disrespect for women. As it has turned into a cultural phenomenon, hip hop has changed with greater equalization. More often than not, these rap/hip hop videos are where today’s youth get their ideas about love, friendship, dating and marriage.
Among some of the more notorious rappers, Oil Wayne, also known as one of the greatest hip-hop artist of all times, has done everything in his power to show little regard for African American females. Dir Carolyn West, professor of psychology at the University of Washington says that “hip-hop music is not Just entertainment, but it exploits young African American girls and promotes unhealthy lifestyles” (Watkins 2005). Images and attitudes are harmful and do more damage in a culture that is already negative about the African American population overall.
According to Dir West, black women are identified in one of the following categories:”pitches”, “hoes”, “creekers”, rears, “gladiolas”, “chickenhearted”, “pigeon”, or “baby mama” (Sabbath,1999). To make matters worse, many of the rap videos are famous for featuring half naked women gyrating in the background. In many instances when young women absorb these negative stereotypes that promote sexual conduct, they then take on the personae that are illustrated in the music and video.
In the world of hip-hop music, the message for young women is that in order to be considered beautiful, you have to take your clothes off or allow yourself to be demeaned and degraded by the rappers/ hip-hop artist in the entertainment field. People outside the African American community see these portrayals of our women and assume these actions are characteristic of all black women. These images and depictions are false. African American women have had to endure ridicule, disrespect and blatant betrayal by the music moguls, and African American men for over 30 years now.
Because our men, brothers and sons seldom give our sisters any respect through this music, it has evolved into a self-fulfilling prophecy and therefore our young black women believe that they don’t deserve respect. What’s so amazing is that very few young women feel NY anger or resentment at being called out of their names by black hip-hop rappers. In our present culture, white women do not have to endure the portrayal of themselves as worthless, promiscuous and hyperplasia. Since slavery, African American women have endured the negative depictions and stereotypes.
Along with the stereotypes is the more significant use of the “N” word. The hip-hop culture began in the early sass’s in the economically depressed South Bronx, exposing to the public the social problems like drug abuse, gang violence and racism in their neighborhood. It started off as a revolutionary form of USIA. As it began to influence the language, fashion and the way youth communicate with each other. From the Conflict Perspective, the overriding influence in the business of hip-hop is that it is a huge profit making machine.
Now large corporations produce these images that sell and there is a blatant link between hip-hop and pornography. Some hip-hop music has and continues to be instrumental in driving respect for the black culture to an all time low. Our young children do not have the ability to differentiate between what is real and cultural. For non African Americans, hip-hop as become a misrepresentation of the “black experience”. From a symbolic-interactions perspective, hop-hop music is rapidly setting the foundation for teen pregnancy, and Studs.
In 2005, nearly 50% of the people diagnosed with HIVE/AIDS in the US were African American according to the center for disease control and prevention, although they make up only 13% of the population. University,” black women’s bodies historically have been sites of sexualities commodities and spectacle for the white mind. ” During slavery, their bodies represented production and reproduction while allowing slave owners to increase heir property and satisfy their lust”. (Hooks,1993). This is something that the history books don’t teach.
Why? Because the majority of the history books used to day in our educational system are not written by African Americans. So for the record, this astigmatism didn’t Just start with hip hop music. It’s Just a case of history repeating itself. Ask any young African American boy what he wants to be when he grows up and the likely response will be an athlete or rapper. When watching rappers like Wiz Kalmia or Young Jazzy, these rappers glorify black welfare moms and gold or monad “grills” in the mouth in their videos or on Youth.
It is the record companies that produce and promote this music. It has now crossed over not only to mainstream America, but across the world. It is no longer Just a black thing. “Hip- hop music is popular, but black people still aren’t”. So what can we do to remedy this social problem that is destroying the esteem and pride our once rich African American culture? For one, parents need to intervene and monitor the music their kids listen to and talk with their children about the different images portrayed in music because like it or not, hip-hop music is not going way.
Next, the African American community needs to engage in conversation and talk a look at our troubled culture and become educated on our deep seated issues. Until then, no one else is going to love and respect us until we learn to do it for ourselves. So, I present the question again, was it K for Don Emus to call the women of the Rutgers Basketball team “nappy-headed who’s”? And why is it that African Americans become offended and want other races to refrain from using the same negative words when we blatantly exploit them in our music? And finally, how owe does a rapper need to go before Black women will stand up and say, “that’s enough? We can start by making the media aware of the problems that face America’s youth today could help prevent the negative images that accompanies hip-hop. Just changing the lyrics to songs won’t be enough if kids still see their idols performing illicit activities and treating women with disdain. They will still believe it is okay. The major television stations and music video producers must step back and analyze what they are portraying. [l]elf artists like Jay-Z and Snoop Dog would try to make a costive change in their lyrics, then others would follow suit and make their lyrics positive as well.