What if I told you that raping, degrading and beating people up wasn’t in any way wrong? What if I told you that not only is it OK to promote sex slavery, violence and derogatory slang, it’s actually a cool and manly thing to do? If I told you that women are nothing but mindless sex objects, pieces of meat who are only after men for their money, would you believe me? More importantly, would you elevate me to superstardom and make me filthy stinking rich for airing these opinions to your children?
50 cent and Snoop Dogg are examples of hip hop/rap artists (depending on who you ask) whose lyrics often show little or no regard for human life, and in particular, an extremely chauvinistic outlook on women. Not only does the modern day consumer culture condone this behavior, we actually reward 50 cent and Snoop Dogg by buying their material in millions of copies. Both of these artists are popular in Iceland. In fact, they’re so popular here, it actually pays off to import them and sell expensive tickets to their concerts in our biggest musical venues. Their message to the people? Here, 50 cent speaks for himself in his hit song P.I.M.P. :
Bitch choose with me, I’ll have you stripping in the street
Put my other hoes down, you get your ass beat
Now Nik my bottom bitch, she always come up with my bread
The last nigga she was with put stitches in her head…
…Hoe make a pimp rich, I ain’t paying bitch
Catch a date, suck a dick, shiiit, TRICK
Now, let’s look at this from another angle. What if I told you that black people deserved nothing better than to sell their bodies on street corners, and to have their teeth kicked in if they refused? What if I told you that it was not only fair to humiliate black people, you should disregard them as intellectual beings? I’ll tell you what would happen. I’d most likely get publicly attacked, ostracized, brought to court and sentenced for defaming black people. All of which I’d fully deserve. However, these exact statements are being made about women in today’s popular music, seemingly without consumers as much as blinking an eye. This brings me to a poignant question: Do women deserve less protection under the law than minority groups?
Whether we like it or not, the message of popular music is getting to kids before they have the maturity to understand that someone like 50 cent is making harmful generalizations about women. However, attacking him for the content of his material is not going to solve the problem. As consumers, we’re responsible for the success of people like 50 cent. We made him the megastar he is. Therefore, we’re every bit as guilty as he is for each time a twelve year-old sings along with the lines: Man this hoe you can have her, when I’m done I ain’t gon keep her / Man, bitches come and go, every nigga pimpin know…
Snoop Dogg, who will perform in Iceland in three weeks, collaborated with rapper Xzibit on a song called Losing Your Mind, released in 2002. There, the duo described subjecting women to violent and crude sexual acts, even suggesting rape.
Back for more, watch me score (with what?)
With any whore that wanna explore (with what?)
The ups the downs, the ins the outs (then what?)
Kicking that ass, dick in your mouth (so what?)
Piss on ya chest, and put it on tape (now what?)
Have all these bitches calling it rape (and what?)
Slicker than that, so pump your brakes (and what?)
Indite it, fight it, settle the case (w-w-w-w-what?)
Snoop Dogg may have found himself deeply regretting his part in the recording of this song, as he was recently accused of gang-raping a woman along with his entourage. It is safe to say that the lyrics above could’ve proven seriously harmful to him in a court of law. If nothing else, he became a man of his word, as he did “settle the case” by paying his accuser off.
The people responsible for importing Snoop Dogg in Iceland have kept quiet about the rape case against him, although the settlement only took place five months ago and is still fresh news. The Icelandic media hasn’t made an effort to raise the public awareness to it either. If we, as consumers, had been aware of this case, or looked critically at Snoop Dogg’s lyrical message, would the online tickets to his show have sold out in merely two hours, as was the case? To put an even more disturbing note to the whole thing – there’s not even an age limit to Snoop Dogg’s concert. Time to start thinking, folks.