Music, like people, evolves, and as centuries pass we have been introduced to many various genres of music. One particular popular genre of today is hip hop or rap, a fast worded song with a beat. Hip hop originated in the 1970’s and has gone on to evolve thus far. As one can only guess the sound has gotten better, the beats have improved, but the lyrical quality of hip hop seems to have gotten worse. Modern hip hop and rap music shamelessly portrays sexist themes about women through its lyrics and music videos.
Women are seen wearing close to nothing (underwear, bikini’s etc. in hip hop videos, dancing provocatively, and multiple can be seen sharing one man. This is a problem for society because boys are taught to idolize these musicians, and thus carry the same expectations for women. Women may never feel good enough or struggle to look a particular way just to appease a man. Sexism is seen in music more prominently than ever before. The new hit Wiggle by Jason Derulo demonstrates a lack of respect for women through various elements of his lyrics and steamy music video. Wiggle is a three minute song about one thing and one thing only: a woman’s backside.
In the song Jason is at a club as he spots a woman with a nice rounded behind. Naturally, she has now stolen all of his attention as he goes on to sing about that nice rounded behind. The introduction to the song plays, “You know what to do with that big fat butt…wiggle wiggle wiggle. ” Wiggle pairs a woman’s worth with her appearance, consequently making her into a sex object. He then goes on to say, “got me in the club making wedding plans. ” This line again makes it clear that he is not interested in who the girl is, but her tush is so irresistible that he must marry her.
Not only do the graphic lyrics over sexualize women, but the music video may even be worse! As the video begins the first woman that is shown has tassels on the pockets of her jeans to emphasize her bodacious booty. She is then joined by a dozen other wiggling females who are wearing bikini’s and heels at a pool party. In the middle of the alcohol table there is a ice sculpture of a woman’s naked body, and towards the end of the music video women pour shots down this ice sculpture as the artists drink out of its rear end.
Again the lack of clothing and the ice sculpture objectify females with no regard to their personalities or other qualities. Jason is seen in bed with a number of different women at one time. This scene reassures the idea that men can not be deemed sluts, but women can. The themes of this song are shared in all of hip hop. No mediocre by T. I. displays unrealistic expectations of what an interesting girl should be. The title is No Mediocre because the artist is rapping about how he will not accept any girl who does not look perfect, therefore he does not want a mediocre looking girl.
If the title of the song does not make it clear enough, T. I. then raps, “Right hand in the air-I solemnly swear-I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hair-No more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down there-Girl I should see nothing but pussy when I look down there. ” Whenever a woman is referenced she is called a bitch whether it be a negative connotation or a positive one: she is just a bitch. Today, it is somehow considered a compliment to be called a bad bitch, which in other terms means you are an independent but very attractive woman. What sets the two types of women apart is their looks.
It is expressed that you are mediocre if you do not do your hair, if you don’t shave your body hair, if you do not have a pretty face, or a big “ass”. The music video is not as poorly put together as the songs lyrics but it may be equally as offensive. T. I. is walking around checking out all of the “dime pieces” that walk past him. Most of these women if not all are dressed unrealistically in revealing clothes and not a hair out of place. As the artist raps these women seductively dance next to him as they each take their turn with him. The same impractical image of a woman is repeated throughout the whole genre of hip hop music.
Nearly every rap song that can be heard on the radio sexualizes and objectifies women by discussing what they look like, what their wearing, or even what they want to do to them. Because it is socially acceptable, it creates more opportunity for women to be seen as a sex object, and less opportunity for them to be as successful as a man. If this continues gender equality may never be reached and women will be perceived to be only as great as what they look like. If hip hop changed what they sing or rap about their music would still sell, and women would be less objectified.
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