Sex, Lies and ‘Beef’: The Downfall of Hip-Hop

by Kirsten West Savali

It is quite revealing that Hip-Hop, the most testosterone driven music genre in the world, is dependent on women for it’s survival. Sisters are both valuable commodities and expendable capital, used solely to raise the stature of rappers whose talent, or lack thereof, proves insufficient for success.

Decency and chivalry typically do not apply, because in the topsy-turvy world of commercialized rap, being a “real man” means acting like 7th grade girls in the gym locker room when it comes to gossip — or high school boys who are so excited by sex that they have to tell any and everyone within a 50-mile radius that they’ve “had some” or know someone who has.

This is clearly the case with D-List rapper ‘Gucci Mane,’ who is apparently trying to increase his visibility by engaging in a war of words with Young Jeezy. Never heard of either one of these fine fellows? Don’t feel bad, with all of the “Youngs” and “Manes” two-stepping around, it’s completely understandable. Gucci, or as his mother named him, Radric Davis, and Jeezy, born Jay Jenkins, have been sparring for close to a decade. According to the L.A. Times, Davis was “arrested in the shooting death of an alleged Jeezy associate after a break-in at his home. Davis claimed self-defense and was acquitted on lack of evidence.”

The bickering pair have traded insults back and forth since then, and rumor has it, that Rick Ross (The fake one, not the real one; shout out to Uncle Ricky) and Jeezy’s altercation at the BET Hip-Hop Awards brought it boiling to the surface. Matters also weren’t helped any when Jeezy called Gucci “retarded” during a radio interview.

Why, you ask? Who the hell knows; the larger point is that it could be [insert rapper's name] here and the argument always, without fail, ends up including the disrespect of a woman. For Pac and Biggie, it was Faith; for Jay and Nas, it was Carmen; for everyone else, it was Superhead. In this case, Keyshia Cole, Jeezy’s ex-girlfriend, has filled the role of lyrical punching bag:

“I did a song with Keyshia Cole and I know you still miss her / But Puff was f**king her while you was falling in love with her,” Gucci warbles.

This swing-and-a-miss attempt at manly rap diss led to Cole swiftly denying the accusation and her husband, NBA player Daniel Gibson, taking the matter to the tweets, calling Gucci a “failure,” and posting a picture of his wife, and mother of his son, with the words:

“Just when I think she can’t get anymore Beautiful. She sends me a pic like this. This why they can’t keep her name out they mouth.”

Sorry, Daniel, beautiful though she is, that’s not it. Cole was inserted into the equation because small minds resort to petty antics. There is absolutely no worthy reason for her to be thrown into what amounts to nothing more than a pissing contest for her reputation to be mauled in the court of public opinion. In trying to anger Jeezy, all Gucci managed to do was disrespect a married woman and her family — and once again prove that ignorance, sexism and misogyny are alive and well in substance free rap being marketed as Hip-Hop to the masses.

True, it extends well beyond music. Woman in the role of property to be fought over, slept with, then discarded is nothing new. That’s how these boys in men’s clothing define manhood. By how many women they can “cut,” “smash,” disrespect and disregard so other men look up to them and want to be them. Unfortunately, though, this mentality has metastasized throughout Hip-Hop. Women are routinely reduced to rap battle collateral, with no thought to the residual damage in their lives.

The sad truth is the continual degeneration of Hip-Hop through the exploitation of women is a reflection of our communities, which is often a reflection of our homes — where young boys often have no reflection of manhood. Commercialized rap will continue to be a breeding ground for sexism as long as these “artists” are rewarded for disrespecting women with radio rotation and album deals and not even a semblance of accountability. Without women, rap as we know it would cease to exist — which isn’t a bad thing — and with that much of a controlling stake in any business, we should let it be known that we are more, much more, than tangible manifestations of male egos.

As for this current situation? Mr. Radric Davis should probably examine his lame display of male bravado and figure out why he believes gossiping about the sex lives of other adults, and insulting women on wax, makes him look anything but pathetic.

Do better, Mr. Davis. The cycle has to end somewhere.

And in the words of the incomparable Ms. Lauryn Hill:

“Even after all my logic and my theory, I add a muthaf*cka so you ig’nant [rappers] hear me.”

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    “(The fake one, not the real one; shout out to Uncle Ricky)”

    Really? A shout out to one of the founders of one of the most notorious gangs in America? What is that about?

  • African Mami

    If I was Gucci Mane, I’d busy myself and try cop a lip balm sponsorship! Them lips are always busted/cracking, ashy, and a disgrace to God’s creative endeavors. Brrrrrrr!
    Oh, another thing, it would do him good to enrol in English as a second language class. I know most folks don’t understand what he be saying. And he should take waka waka with him.

    My point is this, when you are a non factor, and you want to be existent, especially in the hip hop scene, just brag about your diiikk measurements, who you have NOT slept with, but would so wish you did, how many you have never killed, but of course in your convulated mind have killed. Talk about you are pushing major, when in actuality you are not, and your album sales are limited to your hood. Abeg!

    Women, wake up! Stop buying their music! These rappers do not like you!

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    She’s not giving Rick Ross (the original) any love – more so a jab at Rick Ross – because he took his name and it’s been a lot of controversy about that issue.

    Thanks!

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    Oh, okay. Thanks.

  • B

    If we as woman don’t do anything about it then it will continue happening. We canno depend on music executives to stop the trend because in all honesty, it is a business for them, meaning that they get mucho dinero for it. We are women. We have rights and we should demand respect.

  • http://clutchmagazine blcknnblv

    I just bought “let it shine ” cd because I want to encourage
    good rap music
    Tyler James William and coco Jones are very talented young artists

  • Kae

    Is anybody actually reading the article? Because everyone is talking about everything but the topic of the article.

  • ?!?

    Lack of self control and emotional intelligence is the problem with these rappers. They are so childish like 7th graders. I believe that these men are losers who have lives that are so dominated by sex and women that they have to call women nasty names and ridicule them to feel good about themselves. I mean other men are out here getting regular jobs, taking care of their families, not engaging in illegal activity, and being responsible. These silly beefs and disrespecting women are a sign of how immature and pathetic these rappers are. Daniel Gibson kept it classy when defending his wife. They could learn a thing or two from him.

    But these silly hip hop lovin’ women never learn. For every woman that comments on this article and agrees with the author, there are probably 5 masochistic women that like to be around these types of men. They need validation from these losers wanting them. They think disrespect is normal. They think it’s okay for grown men to have playground beefs. They think the screwups that these men will undoubtedly bring into their lives in the form of infidelity, illegal activities, and disrespect is a part of love. And that is why you can go to the club and see black women dancing to songs talking about treating them like dogs. Some of them see nothing abnormal about a man feeling that way about women. The rest of them think “he ain’t talking about me.” But they are. Many of these rappers either HATE women or see them as silly creatures to be used for their pleasure and tossed aside. They are talking about your dumb behinds.

    There was some incident a while back where these two dark-skinned women won some contest to meet Lil Wayne. When they got to the place, he said something like they were beautiful but would look better if they were redbones. They were offended and left. My point is don’t these women hear him saying stuff like that in his songs? What do they think he’s playing? And you know there are probably many, many dark-skinned black women that still listen to his predator-looking behind because he has “swag.” I just don’t understand. I saw his performance at the VMAs. He looked like an idiot. What do women think they can get from men like this? Money and attention must be what they are looking for because they know they will never get love and respect.

    Oh disco! If there was ever a type of music that should be killed, it’s ignorant hip hop music (we can keep the good stuff) and it won’t be because of jealousy and racism but because we are ridding the world of ignorance.

  • ?!?

    I think a lot of people don’t even pay attention to what these rappers say in their songs. When they do, they make excuses. “Oh he’s just playin” or “he ain’t talking about me.” So these rappers don’t have to put much effort into their music. And they talk about the same things over and over booty, violence, drugs, money, booty, and money.

    I don’t know how we got here from jazz, blues, Motown, disco, R&B, and good hip hop. It’s pretty sad. Whenever I hear these songs, they have good beats and stuff, but then I start listening, and it’s just about always about money and booty.

  • Colabird

    What do we really expect from him? He’s got an ice cream cone tattooed on his face, for Isis sakes.

  • Patience

    People include women, men, girls and boys, and as far as I can tell, people, especially men and boys pay lots of attention to what rappers say.

  • Mitt_Romen_Noodles

    Stopped reading this post after I saw La Flare be branded as a D-List rapper. Obvious the poster doesn’t know much about the current state of rap music. I take it as a jab for trying to beef up your article that tore him down.

    But Gucci, Jeezy(although he’s been falling off), and Ross are all three still cemented in todays rap music.

  • Mitt_Romen_Noodles

    “Oh, another thing, it would do him good to enrol in English as a second language class. I know most folks don’t understand what he be saying. ”

    ^Oh, really? Some irony in this statement. I’ve counted 3. There’s probably more.

  • Child, Please

    “If I was Gucci Mane, I’d busy myself and try cop a lip balm sponsorship! Them lips are always busted/cracking, ashy, and a disgrace to God’s creative endeavors. Brrrrrrr!”

    May you have a good many more likes because this gave me life and a half, lmao!

  • Anthony

    The author is right, so many rappers sound like schoolboys. I am so tired of so many rappers living down to the lowest stereotypes. At least some of the women are smart enough to work their exploits for a financial advantage. I think Superhead was essentially a prostitute for a long time, but she had the brains to market herself and make money in a way that doesn’t involve getting shot or additional exposure to disease.

    The bottom line is that whenever a grown man has to shout to the heavens that he has had some action, he is announcing to the whole world that he is a loser.

    I feel really old when say it, but entertainers had much more class when I was young.

  • Keepitreal

    You just dropped the damn knowledge up in here, up in here but here is the thing, how do we go about affecting change when our mindset is the minority? It saddens me to realize we seem to be the only race of women/girls who shake our behinds to our own disrespect.

    Turn on a “white station” and the top played song goes something like, “You’re insecure don’t know what for b/c you’re beautiful the way you are” flip over to a “black station” and you’ll hear something like “I effed her and I left her cuz she be better off red” (A term, I fortunately never heard of until recently)

    You can’t tell me this has no barings on the pysche of little black boys and especially little black girls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.wright.775 Alex Wright

    “I feel really old when say it, but entertainers had much more class when I was young.”

    No. They just had better PR people

  • http://gravatar.com/clnmike Tonton Michel

    Leave the definition of men to men.

  • http://gravatar.com/clnmike Tonton Michel

    This right here gets a gold star.

  • Anthony

    I think you are wrong. Entertainers have always done stupid things, but I think earlier generations sought to better and better themselves, while a significant subset of rappers delights in being utterly ignorant because they see the ignorance as authentic or real. Clearly, this is not true of all rappers. It is not hard to think of rappers who have moved beyond the who slept with who sophmorics.

    As someone who is older and lived through earlier eras of entertainment, there little benefit in cultivating an ignorant image in earlier eras.

  • African Mami

    @Mitt_Romen_Noodles,

    I wish I cared….point still stands. Good day.

  • African Mami

    awww, hugs!!

  • PAPI MORENITO

    English may not be my first language but …for IT’S survival??? You should write …for ITS survival. No apostrophe here, IT’S is a contracted form of IT IS. It kills me everytime I see these quote unquote typos on this site.

    Anyway, is there a plausible reason why you said Rick Ross (The fake one, not the real one; shout out to Uncle Ricky)? Some of these rappers look up to criminals and adopt their name. 50 Cent did the same and so have plenty others. So Ross is not fake, he’s just using a rap name.

    Battles, beefs, trash talking is part of Rap music, and that is probably never going to change. So you better get used to it.

  • MommieDearest

    I bought the CD for my son (per his request) and we play it in my car. I’m getting him the movie DVD for Christmas.

  • MommieDearest

    “The bottom line is that whenever a grown man has to shout to the heavens that he has had some action, he is announcing to the whole world that he is a loser.”

    THIS.

  • Comment

    I’m really frustrated by women who defend rappers by saying “well he ain’t talkin bout me.” Yes hun, he most certainly IS. In fact you’re the model — a weak minded woman who will do say and accept just about anything to be in a man’s good graces.

  • Comment

    As usual, whenever a woman rightly brings up the ridiculous nature of modern day hip hop you have males who run to the ignorant rappers’ defense. Don’t fall for it anymore ladies, these types have a vested interest in keeping women oppressed by this music.

  • paul

    Yeh

    why not single out corporate rap as the only example of degenerate popular culture. I mean, after all corporate rap is the only cultural entity in america that promotes capitalist wealth accumulation, individualism, homophobia, gun culture and turf war women as possessions . . . . . and the list goes on

    Corporate Rap is like the picture of Dorian Grey, a portrait of america as it really is, that shatters the wholesome illusion it sees when it looks in the mirror.

  • leelah

    it’s is also used to indicate ownership.

  • Kofi

    This was a good article and the author made some very relevant points. I consider myself a hip hop enthusiast and i must say i am disappointed with where the genre is heading. My only disappointment was that the writer, while criticizing said rappers on disrespecting women, was doing some disrespecting herself. And i still can’t get over that “shout out to Uncle Ricky line”. Her line about Hip-Hop being “the most testosterone driven music genre in the world” was unfortunate because if i had said you needed testosterone to be a good rapper, i would have been labelled a sexist.

    Some of the replies have also insulted the appearance of certain rappers (Weezy was likened to an alien). How people can justify criticizing people for disrespecting others and then proceeding to do some disrespecting themselves is beyond me. Ignorance cannot be cured by name-calling.

    Now you have to understand that Rick Ross disrespecting women does not make him any less of a successful artist or businessman. These rappers do what they think they have to to make the most money. Jay Z used to rap about ‘Hoes’ until he saw that he could be much more if he stepped up his subject matter. There has to be a paradigm shift in the thinking of the fans in order for our music to take the next step.

    Popular music reflects the thinking of its time and sadly, these are the times we live in.

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