The Other Side of the Argument

I love comedians. Comedians are like griots; they keep us abreast of current events and they provide commentary.  They also remind of society of important people, events, and facts that are quickly forgotten.

Sommore is one my absolute favorites; love, love, love this woman and simply worship her style, both fashion and comedic. I recently watched a video of hers on YouTube and she got me thinking about hip hop in another way (some of y'all might want to brace for language).


Here's where I agree with Miz Sommore:
1) I'm down for black millionaires. Bring on the black millionaires and billionaires, by all means...so long as they then take those millions and billions and do some productive shit for black people.

2) Damn, straight it's a fantasy. This is what trips people up a lot when it comes to commercial rap. It's a fantasy. Even for the rappers themselves it's a fantasy; most of them can't even afford to do the stuff they're rapping about.



3) The women in the videos are paid professionals. I'm not saying they're not being objectified, I'm not saying this is a good look on them, I am not confirming that they are "bitches and hoes" - they are women who sign contracts, show up to work, and get a check.
Now, here's why commercial rap is like a double-edged sword for black people (this stuff y'all know by heart).
1) As the second video shows, just because they become millionaires, doesn't mean they stay millionaires.  As with our athletes, most rappers go broke.  I was very impressed to hear Ludacris talk about meeting with an accountant every week to make sure they don't overlook anything.  *nods*  Good job.  That's how you stay a millionaire, bruh!

2) Just because this is fantasy and the women in the videos are paid professionals, doesn't make it okay.  Let's go back to the original Dreamworlds video which inspired this post right quick:



Like Sommore says, this is fantasy, and I do not blame rappers when their fans simply refuse to see the difference between a smiling paid professional in a music video, and a crying, screaming woman in a park. The woman who signed a contract and earned a check for a day's work has nothing to do with the girl who's walking down the street, shopping in a grocery store, or sitting in class, minding her own business. They are not the same people and have nothing to do with each other. The argument of "Sally does it, so why not Sue?" doesn't even make any goddamn sense.  Men are horrified when such logic applied is applied to them, i.e.: Bill Gates makes a shit ton of money, ergo how come Bob who's checkin' me at the job doesn't have that kind of change?  He can't buy me an island workin' no 9 to 5 - what about my fantasies?  Jimmy from next door is hung like a horse; what's Jerry's excuse for being hung like a pigeon?

Men don't like it when we use other men as measuring rods for them, so why expect the woman on the street whom you don't know to act like that woman on TV whom you also don't know?

And the woman in the video, again, is a paid professional. She works her ass off - literally - to attain a certain appearance; she likely has a team of managers, agents, trainers, stylists, etc. to maintain her looks and help her get that check. When she finds out she's not gettin' a check, or that a check isn't going to have enough zeroes, she's gone. So just 'cause she's in a video smiling and drinking champagne with Jay-Z or flirting her running her fingers up Snoop Dogg's leg, doesn't mean she'll do the same for Chad or Brad or Joey down the street.

As Sommore herself would say, the guy who makes ten figures gets a slightly different treatment from the guy who makes four.

Also, just because video actresses are getting paid, doesn't mean all that glitters is gold (shameless plug for Meagan Good in Video Girl).


I don't blame hip hop (and by extension, black men in the game) when your average man (who often doesn't even care about hip hop in the first place) simply refuses to acknowledge a woman saying, "No." I blame this society for allowing blatant misogyny to thrive since the days of its founding, from raping Native American and enslaved African women, to burning women at the stake, to legalizing wife-beating, to holding back our rights to own property, work, vote, and choose, right up to specifically promoting and endorsing rappers who overall treat women in a sexist manner.

So no...hip hop is not the single-handed source of misogyny in America.  America created that particular problem long before. And it's not the only musical genre with these kinds of problems.



3) (No, I'm not done). Raise your hand if you're sick of reading about a rapper - sometimes a truly gifted rapper - on Wikipedia, and noticing the seemingly obligatory "Controversies" and "Legal Problems" sections. Hearing about everyday black men being gunned down by cops and vigilantes or hauled off to jail over some bullshit is bad enough, but having some rappers glorify misogyny, guns, drugs, violence, and jail - and get locked up a few times themselves or shot over some bullshit - doesn't do anybody any favors. It merely sends the message that even with money and luxuries and privilege, black men just can't seem to stay out trouble.

Comments

  1. @Ankh-When she finds out she's not gettin' a check, or that a check isn't going to have enough zeroes, she's gone.

    I have to disagree with this some. I recently watched a video that Buffie the Body (one of the original Video women) and she pretty much said that women do not get paid like they used to. Here is the clip and its LOOONNNGG. She breaks it down though that a lot of girls screwed themselves out of big checks by doing whatever to get noticed. The main reason for the video is why she left that lifestyle (she works in the fitness industry now doing videos) and if her rear is real or not. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i6kPii-iac

    I've never been a fan of rap honestly, but I respect 50cent because in the Oprah interview he said that he would sit down with his accountant and go over his books. I do not understand how out of all the stuff people pick up from these guys money management is never one of them. I remember Jay Z talking to Warren Buffet. I don't feel sorry for these other guys who end up broke.

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    1. I do state in the post that all that glitters is not gold in this particular lifestyle (hence the "Video Girl" trailer), and the main point of that statement was to illustrate how these women are not in love with whichever rapper's featuring them in a video, and that the whole point of even being in the video is to get paid (or exposure to get money). In the "Why most rappers go broke" documentary, it's also addressed that rappers are "downsizing", so I would assume they're not hiring/paying video actresses like they used.

      I also recall an old Kat Stacks video in which she's going off on a casting call notice for a video shoot where they offered to pay the women $200/day which, quite naturally, she considered an insult.

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    2. Girl NONE of its gold!

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    3. Lord, you done went and drug out Kat Stacks...!

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  2. What I got from that second video is if I heard correctly, those rappers are paying millions (through cash advances) to make few ten thousands of take home money. That sounds like a reverse lottery. I also agree hip hop did not cause nor is to blame for misogyny, rape culture, or a culture of violence. If this were an anti-misogyny, anti-rape, and anti-violence culture, hip hop wouldn't have had a place in mainstream society let alone exist there more than 30 years and counting. All it has done since it's largely black, for now at least, is made a convenient scapegoat for whites obsessed with "black pathology" and created an almost porn like atmosphere for white males to see all the misogyny and violent fantasies they harbor in the privacy of their home while keeping their hands and images clean in society. I'm also sure those black producers don't have nearly the amount of money the white producers have.

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    1. What I got from that second video is if I heard correctly, those rappers are paying millions (through cash advances) to make few ten thousands of take home money. That sounds like a reverse lottery.

      Girl...when they ran through those numbers it hurt me in a deep place.

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    2. Exactly. The next time I'm at the gas station or at Speedy Cash or something and one of these young guys come up to me with one of their demo CDs, I'm gonna tell them to "go on YouTube and type in 'why most rappers are broke'."Cuz you might want to try a different career path."

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    3. "All it has done since it's largely black, for now at least, is made a convenient scapegoat for whites obsessed with "black pathology" and created an almost porn like atmosphere for white males to see all the misogyny and violent fantasies they harbor in the privacy of their home while keeping their hands and images clean in society. "

      THIS!!! I wish white people would stop blaming black women for a product that is primarily consumed by white males and has been for the last 20 years. Mainstream rap music is trash cause that is what white males want to buy. The same is true for most black music that crosses over to a white audience. My mother says the same thing about Motown songs about black pathology like Papa was a rolling stone, Cloud 9, and Love Child. Songs about dead beat dads, promiscuity and drug use made to cater to a white audience.

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    4. @ Roze Z

      You would! You really would do that!

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    5. @ modest-godess

      It makes me me think of the whole Maklemore thing, how he's trying to "clean up" hip hop and rap about positive things. Or that Lorde song "Royals". I feel in the future we will have more of these white rappers singing about "positive" things (love, peace, human rights etc.) to be the opposition to the black rappers singing about "negative" things (violence, sex, drugs, money etc.) so whites can once again pat themselves on the back for thinking they took something black and made it better. It will be a cold day in hell before a black rapper male or female will be pick up by a major label rapping about anything humanitarian. Let one of these black rappers in the game right now rap about white hegemony and see how quickly you hear about them being investigated or going to jail for "tax problems".

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    6. I remember when positive rap was around. Artists like Queen Latifah, Monie Love, MC Lyte, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Doug E. Fresh, Kid & Play, Sugar Hill Gang, and a myriad of others had positive lyrics in their songs. There was also a myriad of types of rap/hip-hop to listen too - socially conscience (Public Enemy), "fun" rap (Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince, Kid & Play), funky (Sugar Hill Gang), gangster (NWA, Ice T). There was no one type of rap or hip hop out there. Now everything sounds the same and reeks of negativity.

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    7. Brilliant observation. A lot of this took place in the 90s, where we had lot of diversity in mainstream media.

      Wow. Did NOT expect to go as backward as we have.

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    8. I remembered we said this about tv shows in the 90's too in an earlier post. I wouldn't be surprised if the 90's were the modern height of black economic, educational and social progressiveness.

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    9. There has definitely been a white supremacy backlash in the mainstream media since the 90s. Also currently all of the mainstream media is controlled by a few corporations. This was not the case pre 2000. Black people no longer own BET. All the radio stations are controlled by Radio One. There is a reason we only hear the same 10 songs everyday, because the stations are no longer locally owned. So this whole blame black entertainers and black consumers thing is bull shit. All of this is controlled by a handful of rich white men. Even white women had better representation in the 80s and 90s. Remember Golden Girls, Murder She Wrote, Murphy Brown?

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    10. So true and let the church say AMEN! I for one am sick to -de-a-t-h from all the sermonizing about rappers. Especially from a society that glorifies white female sexuality,drugs,guns,violence and money in some of the worst ways possible. I don't recall all the preaching from the holier thans about that scene from the movie "Hostel 2" where a woman was naked,tied up and held upside down as a man proceeded to slice her up. While another naked woman was underneath her bathing in her blood WTF!! Hollyweird also has a notorious history of protecting pedophiles and rapists as evidence by the way they reacted to Roman Polanski yet the high and mighty white patriarchy saw nothing wrong with that. Even the nightly news is more about sleaze and salacious headlines than actual journalism. yet it takes extremely violent acts by white males and still nobody criticizes white male pathology based on white male entertainment. Nobody ever questions how somebody like Anna Nicole Smith or Jenny McCarthy can make a name for herself if it wasn't for sexually gratuitous images from white males.

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  3. LL Cool J- "I lease a Honda Accord for $399 a month,’ while other rappers are going broke.”

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    1. He did an interview a while back with Piers Morgan when he was on. Piers asked him about a watch (blinged out) he was wearing. LL told him that the watch was old and he wasn't into buying a lot of flashy stuff. He said the watch was over ten years old. He then went on to tell him at the height of his career he was driving a Honda Accord. LL has a net worth of $80-100 million so he knows what he is doing.

      Out of all the stuff people pick up from artist THIS is something they should pick up on. Money management. Yes these guys make a lot of money, but only a few have enough common sense to manage that money.

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  4. I concur with what Mickey said. That's is how i feel about this also.

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