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Author Topic: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music  (Read 2203 times)

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Offline Sabby

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2014, 05:39:48 PM »
Wait, ears hanging low is a racist stereotype? That's a new one to me.

Offline Euron GreyjoyTopic starter

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2014, 05:52:50 PM »
Its not, but the song incorporates the melody of the racist song "Zip Coon". Which consortium11 pointed out.

Offline Sho

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2014, 01:47:29 AM »
Huh. Well, I learned something new today. Thank you!

That being said, I don't really think a rapper sampling that song really is the best example of black musicians using racist stereotyping against themselves in their music. I doubt that many people would even have made that connection in terms of the tunes being similar; it's a bit misleading to sample the Zip Coon song and imply that 2Chainz was sampling a song that is inherently racist when, for most people (at least where I grew up), the connotation would instead be that he was playing with a traditional children's tune that everyone grew up with.

I also don't necessarily think the music is racist in and of itself; the lyrics, though many are asinine, generally reflect what their lives are like. In the ghetto, selling drugs is often the only way that kids have any hope of getting some real money. There isn't any sort of substantial education.

Yes, there is pressure to not be 'nerdy', but it's different than has been implied earlier. In my experience, going to school is seen as uncool because it's a complete waste of time. The level of education (the facilities, over-full classrooms, and lack of any real educational materials) ensure that a high school degree from these schools means almost nothing. Forget going to college - the kids I've worked with who went to college from the ghetto were forced to take at least a year, if not more, of remedial classes in order to have the chance to even pass community college classes. Going to school is seen as a waste when you could be making money - and being underage, selling drugs is a quick way to do that, and if you've done it when you're young then it becomes a main source of income as you get older. Pair that with neighborhoods that are generally plagued by high levels of street crime and gang violence...well. That's all the kids see; if you grow up in a social circle with certain values, you inherently pick up on them. The violence is so inherent that most of the kids - and the rappers who come out of these neighborhoods - live with a 'live fast, die young' mentality. They don't rap about deeper issues because they have no reason to think that anything with ever change.

That's not to say that I think rap music today is good, or promotes a good image. I think that earlier rap was more coherent in their messages demanding social change. That being said...I think the matter is fairly complicated. If we were to provide decent employment opportunities as well as better education in low-income heavily-minority-filled neighborhoods, I think you would see the negative racial stereotypes promoted in music change rapidly.

...Sorry if that's not too clear. Long day at work. :P

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2014, 12:06:26 PM »
As a black woman, I always found it as brainwashing. From years of slavery and oppression, I still think many black people still have this mindset. Back then, It wasn't sexy or attractive to have big asses or curves. So, the racist white community deemed black women Jezebels and it was our fault if we were raped, because our bodies were too sexually arousing. But ever since the song "I like Big Butts", now its a thing to have an ass.

Another thing that rap has also contributed to is the light skin vs dark skin. This is also a slave mentality where darker skin blacks were kept outside and deemed ugly. But the lighter skinned ones were kept inside, used as mistresses, and raped. Then came the mixed child and they ended up passing for white and thus were also allowed to own slaves themselves. This kind of thinking still resides in my community and its quite sad.

Offline Euron GreyjoyTopic starter

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2014, 12:27:46 PM »
Could you perhaps provide examples of light vs dark skin in rap? I've always heard there was some kind of beef between the two, but I never thought it came from hip hop.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2014, 12:34:50 PM »
Could you perhaps provide examples of light vs dark skin in rap? I've always heard there was some kind of beef between the two, but I never thought it came from hip hop.
I'm talking about the video vixens, not necessarily the word content.

Offline Mathim

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2014, 01:25:31 PM »
I remember working night shifts at a gas station and there was this pervasive delusion, presumably a mental virus transmitted by this sort of brainwashing music, where these poor black males (not just young ones; I was around 20 at the time and one of them had to be around his mid-30's if not older) would brag about "I'm 'bout to be getting a record deal" and other ridiculous nonsense and one of them even chatted up a limo driver who came in to gas up the limo he was driving, saying he'd hire him as his driver once his record contract came through. I mean, seriously? Is there so little logic going on that these poor deluded people think it's that easy? I see others selling their own CD's outside of convenience/liquor stores who are at least taking it upon their own initiative to become successful without just lucking out so they've at least put more thought and effort into it, which I kind of respect. But every time they offer one of their CD's, even for only a dollar, I decline because, as I tell them, "The entire genre just has absolutely no appeal for me whatsoever." Whether that sounds like a criticism or insult, it's the truth.

Another anecdote from my gas station days was something that still sticks with me today. A white woman pulls up, her radio blasting, and when she opens her door before turning off the car, all I hear is some angry voice screaming, "Niggas, I just wanna fuck, fuck, fuck..." before the radio or whatever she was listening to died. I seriously couldn't just ignore that and asked her how she could possibly want to listen to that. She kept a straight face and said it wasn't the lyrics she was listening to, it was 'the beat'. While that may very well be, I sure as hell could not possibly ignore something like those lyrics no matter how much I may have liked the melody they accompanied. Thoughts?

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2014, 01:41:49 PM »
She kept a straight face and said it wasn't the lyrics she was listening to, it was 'the beat'. While that may very well be, I sure as hell could not possibly ignore something like those lyrics no matter how much I may have liked the melody they accompanied. Thoughts?

I'm reminded of the quintessential quote from American Bandstand:  'It's got a good beat and you can dance to it!'  (for historical reference, the phrase was in reaction to this song:



in the 'Rate a Record' segment.)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 01:52:32 PM by Oniya »

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2014, 02:57:45 PM »
However, we always judge rap music, but we don't look at some of the rock music out there today.

I remember hearing rock songs that would talk about burning small animals and the devil and killing people. Suicide also seems to be one of the bigger topics in some of the rock I heard growing up. No one ever really says anything about that, but they turn right around talk about what black people listen to and do.

Offline Mathim

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2014, 03:04:04 PM »
However, we always judge rap music, but we don't look at some of the rock music out there today.

I remember hearing rock songs that would talk about burning small animals and the devil and killing people. Suicide also seems to be one of the bigger topics in some of the rock I heard growing up. No one ever really says anything about that, but they turn right around talk about what black people listen to and do.

Isn't rap supposed to be more culturally linked, though, and not just appealing to or produced by fringe groups like some of this other stuff you mention? Those rock songs you mention might be speaking to everybody in general, but in a lot of rap where they're calling themselves or their listeners the n-word, I'm pretty sure they're talking to a specific group. I could be wrong but that's pretty much what I think this thread centers on the racist element of that particular genre and not the non-racist (but still pretty fucked up) elements of other genres.

Offline Sabby

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2014, 03:08:57 PM »
As someone whose listened to metal his whole life, I'm not seeing the two as being remotely comparable. Every genre has it's handful of songs you wouldn't want to play with your family around, but there's few genres out there that do it like rap. It's just so consistent in how debauched it is, and that's not a bad thing. Doesn't bother me if someone wants to listen to things like 'Dollah on mah dick', I just don't think it's fair to say that rock is anywhere near the same level.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2014, 03:40:45 PM »
I'm quite certain you don't have any idea exactly where I'm getting at with my post.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2014, 03:41:49 PM »
Isn't rap supposed to be more culturally linked, though, and not just appealing to or produced by fringe groups like some of this other stuff you mention? Those rock songs you mention might be speaking to everybody in general, but in a lot of rap where they're calling themselves or their listeners the n-word, I'm pretty sure they're talking to a specific group. I could be wrong but that's pretty much what I think this thread centers on the racist element of that particular genre and not the non-racist (but still pretty fucked up) elements of other genres.
Actually no, especially whenever is going around saying "Nigga" in the first place. It always irks me that people don't know the difference between the two.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2014, 03:50:35 PM »
However, we always judge rap music, but we don't look at some of the rock music out there today.

I remember hearing rock songs that would talk about burning small animals and the devil and killing people. Suicide also seems to be one of the bigger topics in some of the rock I heard growing up. No one ever really says anything about that, but they turn right around talk about what black people listen to and do.

Actually, there was a big brouhaha about sex, drugs, violence, suicide and devil worship in rock lyrics back in the 1980's.   Frank Zappa, John Denver, and Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister fame) testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in August of 1985.  Before the hearings had concluded, the RIAA started putting those 'Parental Advisory' stickers on albums.

Offline Kythia

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2014, 03:52:52 PM »
Dee Snider pointed out that he wasn't gonna take it, no he wasn't gonna take it, he wasn't going to take it, any more.

IIRC.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2014, 04:21:39 PM »
That song actually made the PMRC's 'Filthy Fifteen' (for violence), along with Darling Nikki, She Bop (who knew verb conjugation could be dirty?), Sugar Walls, and WASP's 'Animal'.

One of the more amusing moments of the hearing was that - after then-Senator Al Gore had expressed that he was a fan of and greatly admired both Zappa and Denver - Dee Snider asked him if he was going to say he was a fan of Twisted Sister as well.

Offline Euron GreyjoyTopic starter

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2014, 04:34:47 PM »
Dee Snider pointed out that he wasn't gonna take it, no he wasn't gonna take it, he wasn't going to take it, any more.

IIRC.
Marry me <3

But in all seriousness most metalheads aren't serial killers or worship Satan, but a lot of rap fans try to emulate the lifestyle of rappers.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2014, 05:00:21 PM »
However, we always judge rap music, but we don't look at some of the rock music out there today.

I remember hearing rock songs that would talk about burning small animals and the devil and killing people. Suicide also seems to be one of the bigger topics in some of the rock I heard growing up. No one ever really says anything about that, but they turn right around talk about what black people listen to and do.

There's an entire subgenre of hip hop that talks about that stuff too. It's called horrorcore and people have been attacking that quite viciously for some time now. Granted most of those artists aren't my cup of tea because their lyrics typically don't talk about my style of horror, but yeah people are perhaps a bit too harsh on horrorcore artists when their lyrical content isn't all that different from those that thrash metal, black metal and death metal bands have been using for ages. It may not be my style, but some times I think the criticism is a bit too harsh.

 Plus people have attacked that and all manner of rock through out history over lyrical content. They did it in the 60s with drug content, more of the same in 70s, but that's when people started thinking the devil was in every song. In the 80s they had the whole PMRC thing where it fever pitch and people flipped shit about Marilyn Manson and continue the satanic panic with regards to rock music. It was also during that time that everyone got up in arms about Cop Killer by  rap metal band Body Count which is fronted by Gangsta Rap legend Ice T. However, Ice T had something to say when he and his band composed that song. It wasn't Cannibal Corpse who, no offense to their fans, wrote about seemingly mindless and ridiculously explicit gore with no intent other than to shock (which is precisely the reason I can't listen to them). But that's been going on for so long that it feels like you're beating a dead horse when someone says "OMG that rock band said something shocking!" People have been judging rock music since the 50s when a number of radio stations and older people were terrified of it because they thought it was too sexual and too black. That's right, back in the 50s, racism was a reason some people hated rock music. In fact, many of the early great pioneers were black Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, and many others were architects of the sound back then.

I can certainly tell you that the NSBM bands certainly aren't looked upon with kindness by most rock fans. I mean, nazi metal music seems kind of antithetical if you ask me. Especially considering what an inspiration the blues and jazz have been to metal musicians and all rock genres in general. It has always seemed absurd to be a racist and be a fan of rock music to me.

The other thing I think that upsets people with regards to this is the apparent degradation of a culture and music style that had revolutionary roots. The decay of a genre that was founded in social consciousness. Some people feel that it has been corrupted form it's original state. They're terrified that the revolutionary spirit from which hip hop first hip hop artists emerged has become lost in a sea of  bling and braggadocio based rhymes. I have to admit that's one of the reasons I couldn't get into much rap music for a long time.  That and the beats didn't seem quite as good for a long time.Even he first gangsta rappers were people with a revolutionary outlook. What people forget is that those artists were basically activists talking about unpleasant truths.

This is similar to one of the reasons a lot of people got up in arms about pop-punk bands in the punk subculture. It seemed so divorced from the rebellious, socially critical, often political nature of punk that most earlier forms had championed. People had a similar gripe about emo (which oddly enough did have revolutionary roots as protest against perceived lack of real emotion in mainstream music.) Grunge was sort of born of a similar reaction to Pop Metal/Glam Metal in the eighties.

However I won't argue that you don't have a good point. A lot of things that have origins in the culture of black people, music, fashion, slang, literature, and many other things have been ridiculed and treated as lesser if not out right ignored throughout history. We should be more careful and consider the reasons why we are criticizing something related to the culture of black people.  Maybe we just don't understand as well as we think we do. No art should be considered totally above criticism, but  we should be more mindful of why we're criticizing it.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 05:06:29 PM by Lux12 »

Online Silk

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2014, 05:54:11 PM »
I can't see much Rythem and poetry in most modern Rap

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2014, 06:25:39 PM »
When I took a class in American music, I was shocked to see that these songs from back in the day were just as raunchy, if not worse than what we listen to now. Hokem Blues was known for its completely and utterly dirty and sexual content and I've always wondered why my people were such a sexual group.

But then you look at the development of Rock n Roll and see that those same elements from blues are directed into that genre of music as well. Hell, when Rock n Roll emerged, white people called it  (rather the older generation) "Jungle music" or "Colored music" because it was rooted in black culture. So when Elvis came to the scene, white parents went nuts because now their white children had a white man that sounded black, singing these songs...thus corrupting their children.

So when I point out certain styles of Rock, I mean it as a here now thing...
Rock is associated with a white crowd now(for whatever reason) and not very much negativity is thrown that way. But if it has to do with black folks (and its not Jazz or Blues) its bashed until it can't be bashed anymore.

Offline Sabby

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #45 on: September 21, 2014, 06:33:44 PM »
Could you provide some kind of evidence that the majority of rock top rock singles in the charts glorify satanism and suicide?

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2014, 06:37:01 PM »
Lord have mercy. I'm not talking about mainstream.
And what I'm talking about is how bad and terrible and evil is always linked with my fucking people.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2014, 06:37:56 PM »
Lord have mercy. I'm not talking about mainstream.
And what I'm talking about is how bad and terrible and evil is always linked with my fucking people.

I think the point we are all making is that the culture in mainstream rap music is NOT representative of African Americans, and is perpetuating harmful stereotypes that are unfortunately negatively affecting the African American community.

Offline Euron GreyjoyTopic starter

Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2014, 06:41:15 PM »
Outside of metal shows, you don't see a whole lot of people, living the lifestyle. Yet if you go to any predominately urban area, there are living the lifestyle rap promotes for better or worst.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: The Inherent Racism of Modern Mainstream Rap Music
« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2014, 06:41:48 PM »
The point I'm making, seeing as I don't know whose black or not in this thread is: Every musical genre that was brought up in a black community was deemed bad in some way. It happened with Blues, Jazz, and Rock n Roll, now its Rap. I'm not saying Rap is an art form without flaws, i'm saying its just a little ridiculous that this genre is always being picked out among others.