Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When did being a ho become a requirement for female rappers?

I am writing this because on November 22 Nicki Minaj's CD Pink Friday will be released and will be the #1 album unless a meteor strikes Earth. Now we all know that there is as much chance of that happening as the NY Knicks winning a game.

Nicki Minaj will be bigger than ever and more of a role model to our little girls whether we like it or not.

Women degrading themselves and selling sex appeal is nothing new in Hip Hop but Minaj doing so disturbs me because she is actually very talented. She doesn't have to stoop to this level to sell CDs or become a major star.

She has chosen the path that has given us shining examples of womanhood like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown. Nothing any of us would want our daughters to aspire to unless of course you work as a stripper and want a chip off the ole block.

I grew up in a era with Queen Latifah and MC Lyte when female rappers prided themselves on their skills on the mic and not on trying to see who could swallow it. What happened to wanting to be respected as an artist?

While much of this falls on Minaj and her label it also falls on the consumer. We buy this bull****. If this degrading image of black women didn't sell labels wouldn't put it out there.

Now I know that responsibility for what our children watch and listen to falls on the parents but sadly many little girls don't have parents that turn that garbage off. Hell mom and hopefully dad jump up and start dancing too.

Maybe I'm naive but I think that some responsibility falls on the artist here especially when they know their prospective audience. Am I wrong here?

George Cook


Will said...

You are right about how parents dance too. I saw a woman on a public street dancing with her teenage daughter, dancing to the tunes of Nicki broadcasting from her cell phone. The young girl along with two of her friends, was giving a “go momma, go momma” cheer. That was disappointing, primarily due to the type of dancing this woman was doing. Could easily have seen the same at a strip club with a pole in front of her.

Even if parents aren’t indulging things with their kids as this woman was doing, I just wonder how many of them even know what their kids are listening to? It is a responsibility of artists, but many of them don't have the right kind of models for themselves.

I was thinking that we used to have a time when the whole community was there for kids (going back to that old "it takes a village to raise a kid" adage). If parents weren't mature enough to raise the kids or if parents were otherwise unable/unavailable, Auntie Mary or Grandma Jane stepped in. Shoot, even Miss Jones across the street was a surrogate mom when needed. Community love for children is long gone. These days, many of us hardly even know our neighbors and we often live hundreds of miles away from relatives. The only way to block this from impacting kids is if we can mentor them and become big brothers and big sisters to them. That's really all these kids need, someone to show some care and concern.

While it’s true that Nicki and artists like her have a big role to play in recognizing they are a model for kids, parents/families/caregivers have an even greater responsibility. Even though kids act like they don’t listen and they often act like they have an attitude when people give them guidance and direction, at the end of the day most kids really do appreciate the input. Artists like Nicki aren’t going away and I’m sure as community standards become less stringent as they most certainly have over the past half a century, it will be incumbent upon parents and other caregivers to be more of a model. If kids get the right kind of modeling in their communities at home and from people they interact with every day, the outside influences will have little bearing.

MalkiaBektemba said...

I Totally Agree!