HIP HOP: BLACK FEMALE SEXUALIZATION BY KIKI YOUNG

In a world consumed by pop culture it is often you see in music videos drunk guys, cars we know more about then what’s on the quiz tomorrow, and most of all…naked women (well half naked). Have you ever wondered about how the women were portraying themselves or how the videos were portraying them? This blog is to open viewers eyes to the world of HIP HOP videos where female sexualization is more prevalent, especially black female sexualization. Black women in music videos today keep alive the stereotypes and caricatures of black women yesterday.

 [Anton Laneda (June 5 2011), Nelly Tip Drill, Retrieved October 7, 2013, from http://youtu.be/Zjb3j2dHTbg

Nelly’s- Tip Drill came on the music scene a few years ago and it had viewers shocked. Look at how the black women in this video are being used as props. When watching this video for the first time I thought WOW, sexual misconduct. A tip drill is someone who is willing to have sex when wanted and that’s with you and the homies. Look deeper though, this video shows women’s bodies being touched, slapped, money being thrown on them, and objectified in a derogatory manner. What does this say about women and race? Black women are jezebels. They are these sexual promiscuous women who are always ready for sex. Well, if this doesn’t keep the caricature jezebel alive I don’t know what does.

[The Game (November 21, 2012), The Game – I Remember ft. Young Jeezy, Future, Retrieved October 7, 2013, from http://youtu.be/v24W85yYqYA

Of course, lets make a video in the strip club. Less money with unlimited amount of women who get naked for a living. They’re the perfect target for female objectification, they’re objectified all the time. How sad is that? This though is hip hop, and what’s hip hop videos without beautiful women? (Well you can only see their bodies and not their face so guess their beauty). The black women in this video definitely are props. They became tables, poles, and tables for your lap. I’m guessing that’s a laptop? This is female glorification. The women in this video are playing into the jezebel stereotype as well and when you look at how the rappers are seen in the video versus the women, this is sort of like Bell Hooks opinion on oppositional gaze. The black women have an absent presence. They are there but they aren’t there. How can any woman watch this video and relate to these women? You can’t because they’re playing sidekick roles that don’t matter and the only focus is their bodies.

Then there’s the lyrics…”I done seen too many b****** that I can’t remember names but if you put that p**** right up in my face I’ll remember.” First of all, your a b****, then your only worth remembering if the twat is good. How degrading is that for black women. During the transatlantic slave trade black women were used for breeding and reproducing. The lyrics will back that up. They were raped so often that it was common amongst slaves and slave masters. It was frowned down upon, but no charges were ever brought against the slave masters and sex between whites and minorities then was illegal! I remember learning about that!

[Tyga, (August 2 2012), Tyga – Make it Nasty (+18) OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO,  Retrieved October 7, 2013, from http://youtu.be/wzWrUN6Sy2k

Make it nasty? The video is using women as props, then Tyga is directing a movie where in it they’re being used as props? Yeah, a lot of props. This is so damaging to women and little girls who view them. Laura Mulvey would probably argue men watching this video should get a type of scopophilia.- pleasure in looking at these women. The video uses animation to draw more attention to these women as if there some type of comedic humor behind their distress. I don’t find it funny. Women are definitely being objectified and used as props. What’s the best part? Once again they’re b****** and h*’s. (Not the best). Oh, and perform sexual moves on other women. Are they making fun of female homosexuality or embracing it? You decide.

Martial Scagliati, (June 29, 2012), Rick Ross Feat Wale Make It Rain Remix Uncut, Retrieved October 7, 2013, from http://youtu.be/pZnP4MHHAB0

Another video made in the strip club (how ironic, not). How many times have I said props already? You get the picture. The lyrics though, suggest if you want me to show my a** or other parts for you, I need some cash. So now black women become prostitutes and are selling off there bodies for male pleasure. More money being tossed on them and alcohol as well. This is sending the message that black women are trash, pour out your liquor on them. I wonder how the women internalized these views of them? Another Jezebel stereotype and another rapper surrounding himself with women for a video. It almost seems that if you want to make it in the rap or hip hop industry you need half naked women. A woman’s body is great for props and even better for the male viewers. These videos are what Berger would say are focused from a males point of view. Men love female sexual desire and the thought that these women need to be sexual and have the lustful view from the male to function properly. Degrading and not true.

Phreashkid, (August 7, 2013), Gucci Mane- Scarface, Retrieved October 7, 2013, from http://youtu.be/ICczaX2XQQE

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This has got to be the most degrading and objectifying video of black women I have ever seen (next to porn). This is porn. Which is a big issue behind hip hop is the need to have videos that borderline porn in order to create a masculine view. It is either soft porn, or you have a pron star in the video. This video has both with two porn stars. The women are palying active roles with the rapper playing a passive role which is uncommon in videos, except this is what the director wants you to get out the video. This is how the video is suppose to display these females because after all Gucci mane is Scarface? The females aren’t clothed at all in the video and they’re performing sexual acts on each other. Another favorite of hip hop and once again poking fun at lesbians because its just sex to them right? (NO-WRONG!)

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These texts say to the world that race and female sexuality has one main goal in the music industry… present itself all wrong. What do these five videos have in common? The view of black women as objects, props, and extras; their bodies are not temples but open for male and female pleasure. When thinking about Bell Hooks, the absent presence of the black woman is saying focus on me the rapper. If you want to be anything like me throw a bunch of women behind you and have them prancing around in their underwear and on you because you’re the man. The women don’t even look at the rapper but at you the viewer. The male is dominant, which means in these videos to look at them as the female is saying you have dominance and that’s not what the director wants.  This plays out Laura Mulveys three looks in film, camera, audience, and characters. The camera is focused on the women’s bodies creating that male pleasure. The audience is mainly males because this is what the male figure wants, women wearing little, while the characters are the rappers (men) and women. Berger would look at these videos and want you to focus on how the men look at the women and the women are looked at.

Now try to imagine yourself as a little girl growing up and watching these videos. How do you begin to internalize these images and try not to become what you see? As a black girl watching these black women it’s hard. If this is the part of film where the black women are dominant what message does that send to the little blacks girls like myself? It’s going to be hard growing up in life without men looking at you like jezebels who are lusting for the male attention. Or if you want to become the female rapper you must present yourself in a savage and overly sexual manner. It is derogatory and presents black women as meaningless. Your body is the goods, not your intelligence or skills. This was how slave masters thought of black women during the transatlantic slave trade. They were bodies needed to bring about more slaves and revenue. If they were raped, they deserved it. They are the ones who lusted after the males and brought the attention to the bodies. This is the type of sexual desire they wanted. When the texts are together you get the picture without being told. You can watch these videos with no writing or analysis and know that these black women are being objectified in pop culture and little girls are aspiring to be just like them. As a parent this is not the message you want for your little girls but for a black parent this all you really have. The positive women like Oprah, Angela Basset, and Michelle Obama are overshadowed by these black women in these videos, and even the positive women are constantly being critiqued in a sexual manner. For black women which way is up? Even if you are positive you are still looked at as a jezebel.

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. Ed.
Amelia Jones. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2010. 57-65.

Hooks, Bell. “The Oppositional Gaze: “Black Female Spectators”, Black Looks: Race and Representation (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1992), 115-31.

Berger, John. excerpted from chapter 3 of Ways of Seeing, (London: BBC/Penguin Books, 1972), 45-54, 62-64

 

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