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Are urban songs mired in misogyny?

(14 Posts)
redwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 19:49:36

A recent thread reminded me of a conversation about inappropiate songs i danced to as a child and how i had no idea what they were really about. My work colleagues and i rattled off dozens of songs and laughed at how it all sailed over our young heads.

The not so funny thing is nearly every song we named could fit into the 'urban' category. The thread also asked, if a racist or homophobic song was played would we stand for it. Thinking again about the lyrics and videos of urban music, i have to say it seems to me its an inheritantly sexist culture, full of objectification. If 50% of the world is denigrated by the genre, how is it so popular, and what can we do about it?

Am i the only one that can see it this way?

SevenZarkSeven Tue 11-Nov-14 19:51:11

Can you define "urban music" please?

redwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 20:43:02

rap and r'n'b mainly

SevenZarkSeven Tue 11-Nov-14 21:30:32

Ah not my area of expertise grin

I only know stuff from the 80s/90s and was more into hip hop than rap, I do like a couple of nwa songs which aren't sexist but also aren't really appropriate for a primary school disco grin

TBH sexism is rife everywhere and while the posturing of some rap artists does seem to be exceptionally misogynistic I don't think writing off an entire genre is really the way to go.

And like I say I don't know enough about this genre anyway.

redwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 21:46:43

fair enough. some may have a problem with the name NWA let alone the content of the songs but thats a whole different conversation.

cant help thinking though if the kids of today are listening to this how it affects their attitudes to each. will they try to emulate the extreme behaviour/lyrics. and some people thought rock n roll was bad!

ColgateSmile Tue 11-Nov-14 21:55:31

Hmmm not too sure how I feel about the umbrella term 'urban' music, just seems like a euphemism for 'black'.

What sort of 'urban' music and artists are you thinking of?

A lot of popular rap artists are very misogynistic but that's not something which is exclusive to that genre of music.

There are tonnes of 'urban' artists who produce music which is quite the opposite of misogynist crap you're familiar with, this tends to not be as mainstream though (I've found).

SevenZarkSeven Tue 11-Nov-14 22:00:55

I think that probably the lyrics have always been pretty questionable across the board. And children often don't notice them as we didn't when growing up.

What has changed is the nature of the videos I think, so while lyrics have always had this thing where it's easy not to listen to what they actually are saying even while singing them, because it's about the rythm (sp) and tune and stuff, there's no room for misinterpretation if the images are there right in front of you.

Having said that I don't really see music videos any more either, sure I'll see plenty in a few years when my children get a bit bigger.

+ yes nwa were hugely controversial for a number of reasons I was just trying to think of what rap I had on my ipod and that's what I came up with!

SevenZarkSeven Tue 11-Nov-14 22:02:11

I assumed it wasn't a euphamism for black as loads of hip hop is not sexist / violent and is generally lovely etc...? (Or was back in my day anyway again not exactly an expert here).

Terrifiedandregretful Tue 11-Nov-14 22:04:35

Why is it that the more offensive artists seem to be the more mainstream? (Genuine question).

I heard a description of modern rap/rnb music videos as 'pornographic adverts for money', which sounded about right. It seems like a relatively new thing, rnb and rap I remember from the 80s/early 90s wasn't like this.

MajesticWhine Tue 11-Nov-14 22:15:43

I agree with you OP. Although, DD age 14 chastises me for mindlessly singing along to songs which she deems to be sexist or misogynistic. eg. All about that base by Meghan Trainor, or Wiggle by Jason Derulo. It's encouraging that she notices the lyrics (more than I do blush), recognises the objectification of women and rejects it.

redwarf Wed 12-Nov-14 08:24:05

hooray for your DD, you've raised a good un there!

the base song is soo bloomin catchy. as is a lot of pop rubbish, wish it wasnt.

As for which artists, there are literally so many to chose from nowadays, nearly every one i hear as cringeworthy lyrics or hideous videos. just off the top of my head, Pharell, Chingy, 2 chainz, Kano etc etc. i might switch over 2 mtv base later and come back with more.

worldgonecrazy Wed 12-Nov-14 08:34:13

I think there is a difference between songs which are about sex, and songs which have misogynistic lyrics.

Like a Virgin, Relax, Chain Reaction, Love Resurrection have sexual lyrics but they are not misogynistic. These songs are about mutual, shared sexual pleasure and how nice sex is.

Songs about women being prostitutes, or women as property, or anal rape, or only about male sexual gratification etc. are on the rise and rooted in rape-culture and misogyny.

The change in lyricial "attitude" becomes more obvious when I watch 90s video channels, which I can let my daughter watch safely, and today's charts, where I have to keep switching off as there is yet another picture of a woman in a thong writhing around a fully clothed man.

ChoochiWoo Wed 12-Nov-14 09:01:39

Yy to the videos , i.e spice girls had in retrospect some sexualish lyrics but the videos were fairly innocent but now with ds ive turned over a fair few.

SomethingOnce Sun 16-Nov-14 14:23:52

cringeworthy lyrics or hideous videos

Lil Wayne - Love Me.

I've said it before, but it really bothers me that this extreme misogyny has gone so mainstream.

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