Gender and Hip-Hop: Ripe for a Breakthrough?

Clutch magazine's Zettler Clay argues that "unless there is heightened demand for artistic honesty in dealing with life's issues, particularly qualms with the opposite sex, hip-hop will plateau and thus fall far short of its rich potential."

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Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj at the 2011 Grammys (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Clutch magazine's Zettler Clay argues that "unless there is heightened demand for artistic honesty in dealing with life's issues, particularly qualms with the opposite sex, hip-hop will plateau and thus fall far short of its rich potential."

Misogyny is bigger than hip hop. The word literally means "woman hater" and society's marginalization of women came long before DJ Kool Herc came on the scene. Demeaning women spans many genres. Rap is no exception.

Rap music was never absent of condescending lyrics toward women. It's the overwhelming amount of such lyrics that throws the sonic ecological system off. Ever since N.W.A. came on the scene over 20 years ago, the system has remained stuck in neutral.

When it comes to gender relationships within rap music, it is the lack of diversity of roles afforded to women that is the problem.

Women are not only Suzy Screws and Sasha Thumpers. They are mothers. Sisters. Aunts. Wives. Cousins. Grandmothers. Teachers. Confidants. Heroes. Ultimately, they are nurturers and life givers.

Mainstream rap music doesn't seem inclined to support this notion. The songs that touch on the "softer" sides of male-female dynamics aren't played on the radios and clubs, thus making these songs the least profitable of the bunch.

Read Zettler Clay's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

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