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Editorial My magazine aims to decipher the negative consequences of the exposure of Hip Hop culture on young females. It will first touch on the different mediums through which Hip Hop has been socialized into the lives of youth today. This various means include such top music channels like MTV and BET and also magazines. Increasing development technologies and globalization has enabled easier access to Hip Hop and hence, the Hip Hop culture. For example, rap videos which more often than not embody the Hip Hop culture can now be easily viewed on the Internet through sites such as Youtube. My magazine will make an in-depth analysis of the various ways that Hip Hop culture has affected young women by exploring its effect on their Fashion trends, the way they perceive themselves and the way men perceive and treat women. Rap music videos have affected what youth see as beautiful and fashionable. Young females are now emulating this body exposing style of dressing worn by the women in Hip Hop music videos. This definition of beauty does not only affect young females but also males. A larger portion of male youth has now been socialized into choosing women who dress in this style of dressing portrayed by the females in the videos. These music videos and lyrics display violence against women and portray women as sexual instruments. Women are called degrading words like “bitches” and “hoes”. Research has shown that female youth who are exposed to various hip hop videos and lyrics have a higher tendency of accepting and tolerating violent relationships. My magazine will make an in-depth analysis of the message communicated through Hip Hop. I will be discussing many questions involving women and Hip Hop “is there patriarchy in Hip Hop?”, “Does the Hip Hop culture send a message of male dominance over women?” One may raise the question, of what importance is this issue to popular culture?


There are numerous reasons why it is importance to expose the consequences of hip hop culture on female youth. With the increasing development of technology and globalization and the easier access to these technologies by our youth, the negative effects of hip hop are spreading ever so rapidly in our youths What we see as Hip Hop today goes way back to the 70’s. Hip Hop originated from the Bronx in the city of New York. At that time, Block parties were in voke which made use of DJs. The DJs made use of short percussion interludes to create a beat that sound good Kool Herc a Jamaican born Dj and Grandmaster Flash are one of the pioneers and the most common of the Hip Hop originators. The purpose of Hip Hop music or Rap was to allow the black communities share their views. The black community used Rap has avenue to express their standard of living at that time. Some of this early Hip Hop music includes “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill gang. Hip Hop music and the culture in general began to evolve from music that dealt with the problems and harsh realities that black people faced in their communities to rappers talking smack about themselves and projecting a cool swagger about them. This type of Hip Hop was known as new school Hip Hop and it happened during the 1980’s. Gangsta Rap then began evolve during the late 1980’s. Gangsta rap displayed and reflected the violent ways of life in the black community. The N.W.A and Ice T were regarded as the pioneers of Hip Hop rap. The Hip Hop these days has changed has a medium for black activist to spread their message to a more commercial form. The Hip Hop artist of today use Hip Hop has a medium to make money. They now incorporate different means such as glorifying violence and drug use to make Hip Hop culture seem “cool”. Famous rappers such as “2pac” are guilty of glorifying violence through their music. This music is directed towards the youth and has influenced the youth in so many


ways such as dressing and slangs. It has also helped influence and promotes violence and drug use in the black community. Studies show that Hip Hop music makes reference to drugs out of all other songs. Another study also explains that’s people whole listen to Hip Hop music are more liable to drug use and violence. This research took place in about 1200 colleges in California. The results of the research showed that 70% of those students who listened to hip hop on daily bases where involved in some sort of substance use such as alcohol and drugs. Hip Hop music and culture as a whole has greatly evolved over the years and technological advancements has been a great influence to that. With the various aspects of hip hop culture people commercialized hip hop using various mediums such as Televisions, radios, magazines and the internet. These hip hop songs are now constantly played on the television and on the radio. One can also find this Hip Hop stars in the front covers of magazines, making them seem as role models to youths who are the main viewers of this sort of media forms. One of the most influential media in hip hop culture is BET. BET is an acronym for Black Entertainment Television. BET originated in 1983 right after Hip Hop music began to change from of activism to gangsta rap we see today. BET played this gangsta rap videos on TV, which was widely watched by the black community. Hip Hop culture is having a massive effect on women especially women in the black community. There are many aspects of women’s life that Hip Hop has affected. These aspects include: 1. Fashion/Beauty: The kind of dresses worn by the females in the Hip Hop music videos has immensely influenced the what females especially the youth call fashion today. Females now wear cloths that are revealing and seem inappropriate because that is what is seen on music videos shown by channels such as BET. Hip Hop defines what beauty is


in the lives of youth. Those females who are dressed like the women in the music video with the short tight dresses are seen as beautiful. that males look at females differently in terms of their skin tone and dressing and go for those females who look like the women in the music videos A professor at a university in North Caroline complained how badly dressed the females in his school are because they are trying to imitate the women in the music videos. 2. Identity: In Hip Hop music and Videos, women are portrayed as just sexual instruments. They are called derogatory words like “Ho’s” and “Bitches”. It has become hard for Black women to show pride because of the way they are portrayed in the music videos. Due to the rise of media technology, more and more youth are influenced by Hip Hop and self-identity of females is affected because of the way it devalues women through demeaning lyrics and music videos that objectify women. Many women especially black women now base their worth on how much there can get from a man. An interview was done by Vibe Magazine where four women who were having sexual relations with Hip Hop artist were interviewed. One of the women said that the only reason why she is having sexual relationships with him is because she has no education and nothing else to offer. She also said that what else would a man want from her apart from her body. This women believe and accepted that men can disrespect and use them as they please. 3. Male supremacy and Female Degradation: The ways women are portrayed in the videos are highly degrading. One way in which Hip Hop videos devalue women is through sexual objectification, where women are seen as sex toys or instruments. Another way is through gender attitudes and sexual permissiveness. In the music videos, the artist usually male are seen surrounded by a bunch of females and the cameras are constantly focused


on the exposed body parts of the females. Demeaning words such as “sluts” and “women” are used to represent women. The combination of the exposed body parts and name calling just portray the idea that women are only useful for sexual relations and this music videos and lyrics keep promoting this idea. A research of rap songs were out of 263 songs, 37% portrayed that women were just sex objects and toys. Men in this lyrics and videos are view as superior to women and have some sort of sexual superiority over women. a research was done involving 59 male students and 136 female students who attended Northwestern university. It showed that those male student who were exposed to these hip hop videos show more acceptance of these values that demean and objectify women than those students who were not exposed to hip hop videos 4. Violence against women: Hip Hop culture portrays misogyny. Misogyny in this instance refers to a hatred of women. Recent research shows that those women who are exposed to Hip Hop culture tend to accept violent relationships. A research performed from 19871993 showed that out of 490 songs 22% of the songs promoted violence against women which include rape and murder. Many songs and videos portray males as pimps and females as ho’s. In these videos, the pimps “bitch slapped” the females anytime they do something wrong. One reason why rappers engage in misogyny is larger gender relations. Hip hop culture has always been accused of misogyny, but misogyny lies deep in our culture. Misogyny has always existed in our culture right from time and Hip Hop culture is just another avenue to share and spread those misogynistic values. Another reason is the music industry. We have all heard the saying that sex sells. The music industry is trying to make money by exposing the body parts of these females through mediums such as television and magazines. Local neighbourhood conditions are also another major


reason from misogyny. The women in these black communities lack education and they have a low standard of living. These women now feel like they have nothing else to offer but sex to acquire money and other material things to improve their low standard or living. It is suggested that the devaluing and violence against women does not originate from thin air but it is a reflection of the patriarchy or male dominance that is already existent in our society. Hip Hop cultures give the sense that for one to be a man, one must embrace violence and devalue women, and also see women as sexual objects. The degrading of women has now become accepted by both the hip hop artist and the society has a whole. Even for the youth that do not have value the ideas of misogyny, Hip Hop culture might begin to change those ideals. The Hip Hop culture has thus created the stereotype of black women as sexually loose and immoral. Studies have now shown that men who constantly listen to this music now accept violent relationships. One can now say that the socialization of Hip Hop culture has a negative impact on the values and attributes of our youth especially females. Females are now trying to fight against this misogyny caused by Hip Hop. They have tried to fight against it by bring up female Hip Hop artist and working in conjunction with men. Some female artists have also fought back by trying to devalue men with their video and lyrics. Many have suggested that censorship would be the way to stop the degradation of women through Hip Hop culture. So far all this attempts have lead to no adverse change in the devaluation and degradation of women. One can fight against misogyny in the Hip Hop culture by first changing the gender relations in our society especially the black communities. Providing some sort of education


would be ideal. Education would make people aware that women rights exist and that the way women are represented both in the videos and lyrics are very offensive. This education can not only take place in school but through posters and events. This would help spread the world and change the ideals and beliefs held by the hip hop culture. In conclusion Hip Hop has evolved from a form of social activism to a more commercialized form that degrades and objectifies women sexual in other to make money. Is Hip Hop culture another way to emphasis patriarchal dominance? Why does hip hop music tend to devalue women? Is Hip Hop culture affecting the choices we make pertaining to certain issues such as dressing? It is safe to say that my magazine has helped answer these questions.


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