Friday, January 05, 2007

in the dock again

A quick note to direct readers over to the Art of Noise blog, where I am currently on the receiving end of a bit of a thrashing in the 'In The Dock' feature, where I'm trying to defend misyogynistic hip hop against the forces of good. Not having much luck, clearly. Extracts from my - and Caskared's - argument below:

The medium can’t help but be reductive, and there is no moral obligation or accountability to society, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. There is an argument that nekked ladies is a celebration of the female form, that not liking it is fusty and the women really want to be nakedy. But is it their choice, and do they also want to be reduced to being at disposable service to the men-folk? Of course some yes, and I’m teetering on the brink of so many huge discussions here... but my basic point for this little rant is that misogynistic hip-hop gives an acceptable face and makes popular the idea that women are only here to look good, and to be subordinate to men, supporting an environment that allows sexism to continue. Calling women a ho, bitch, yeah, funny, only not really.

Hip-hop can be unpleasant in a variety of ways – chiefly in its rampant misogyny. On the other hand, it’s often wildly creative, articulate and honest; it has its roots in celebration and liberation and is often created in an environment of poverty and exploitation. Deriding it as "misogynist hip-hop" means having to ignore a wonderful tradition of black-hearted story-telling, exhibited to stunning effect in songs like Eminem’s ‘Stan’, Biggie’s ‘Things Done Changed’ ("My mom's got cancer of the breast / Now ask me why I’m motherfuckin' stressed") or Slick Rick’s ‘Lodi-Dodi’. Rap may be better WITHOUT sexism, sure, but that’s not the way it works – hip-hop is dark, unique, shocking, offensive, frustrating, sensational.

Arguments in full here.

Now I bet you'll all go and vote for the prosecution, won't you, you sods.

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