Now before readers jump all over me for lambasting rap music and attacking artists for what they do or what I perceive they did, please note that I said, " I used to". Here is why I came to that conclusion and what I did in order to continue to enjoy the art and do so unapologetically:
Regarding women dancing to degrading music:
Sure, some artists do that, but as a female, I must examine the situation closely. First I must understand that in a lot of cases, the artist is a guy. (The female artists who degrade are not off the hook yet. I'll get to them a bit later,lol). Guys in general talk that talk amongst each other. They have done so for years. The only difference is that it has been publicized in various art forms. Women of all races have been disrespected for centuries, its just that no one has talked about it and it was the norm. I have come to the conclusion that the artists are telling their "locker room stories" to other guys. Sure, back in the day,if they were talking in a park, they might have quieted down when they saw a female walk by, but in reality they have no idea whether the person on the other end of the speakers is a female. Men tell tales of sexual conquest (and so do women), and sometimes things get trumped up. Yes their audience is a whole lot bigger now, and yes some things shouldn't get aired out like that, but who are we to silence them? I could play the "well they should have been raised better" card, but I guarantee that those who were "raised better" probably did or said similar things back in the day. The difference is the story about that particular female hasn't been blasted across the world. Women have dealt with it and will still continue to, be it by dancing to the music or starting a movement of sorts. If they chose to dance to it, then so be it. I can't account for anybody's actions but my own, and I really don't have time to worry about what they are doing.
For the record, I am not for the disrespect of women, and I am not calling all women "queens" so to speak. Yes there are shady men and women out there. Face it. All men aren't "kings"either. There are just as many trifling mofos out there as terrible women. As we go out into the world we are bound to run across (or become)one of these fools (men or women). It is our choice to keep company with them, not associate with them, or become them. This also applies to the female rappers who talk trash about men or women as well.
My take regarding female rappers and sexuality:
Ladies: Men are visual creatures. Men are mostly the fan base. Therefore a lot of the mainstream female rap artists are catering to that demographic. Men don't want to hear about how some guy did a girl wrong, a break up to make up relationship, lost love,or growing up as a young woman, etc. A lot of men want to hear how the artist can sex them up while looking hot as well. Unfortunately, there are some female artists who don't really want to be known for all of that,but still appear as "grown and sexy" so these artists get the short end of the stick when it comes to gaining exposure.
My stance on women degrading women.
Remember Erick B and Rakim's album cover, "Paid In Full" ? That cover was made in 1987, long before the so called, "Bling Era" of rap. Note the stack of money, the chains, and the "fly" clothes of the day donned by them, not to mention the title of the album. The whole album is about getting paid. in. full., or cutting out the middle man so to speak.
I also used to get annoyed about the flaunting of cash by No Limit, and Cash Money Records. But guess what? Everybody wants money, new clothes, a nice car, and a house. It's a universal phenomenon in this country. I know I like to be able to go shopping every once in a while, I buy jewelry once in a while, and I want to eat good as well. Yes, No Limit and Cash Money and various other camps, or artists were a bit excessive with it, but that's how they chose to spend their money. Sure, I could do without the platinum teeth encrusted with diamonds, the Lamborghini with the suicide doors, and a pool in my living room, but a lot of rappers rap about having "thangs" so to speak. I could listen to Nappy Roots spit about cars all day long, because they do it so well, but it was torture listening to Still Fly from Big Tymers.
I guess what I'm saying here is in order for a female to still enjoy rap music, she needs to do this:
The trick is to search for artists who rap well and fit your music tastes. It was a lot harder to search for music back in the day because it meant you needed to do some traveling to the music shop, dub some tapes from your friends, etc, but we have the internet for God's sake! So much is at our finger tips it's insane! Yes, it takes time to find these artists, but when I find them, either I'm pleasantly surprised, or I have another album or mixtape I have to discard. The best part about it is a lot of the stuff I find is free, so I don't waste any money.
I can hold on to my Jean Grae, Rah Digga, and Bahamadia cds in hopes more dope female emcees will take the underground crown, and get noticed for having flows and not being hoes while hearkening back to the so called "Good ol' days " when Monie Love, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, Salt and Peppa ran the game, or I can get busy looking for artists like these:
Horse Shoe Gang
Ill Sevenz Music Group
Nitty Scott, MC
On that note, I hope I encourage you to start digging the e-crates to find your new favorite artists. Hopefully, I can get another female out there (or male for that matter) to like hip hop and realize that hip hop is not dead, it is alive and and well, kickin it in the underground.