Is rap music a misogynic music style ?

Since its beginning, society looks down on rap music, considering it as « misogynistic » and « sexist », as well as the worst music a woman could listen. Actually however sexism is everywhere in pop culture or mentalities. Some stereotypical comments are widespread, such as « it’s not very classy for a girl to listen to rap music » or « being feminist and listening to rap music is not compatible » but it doesn’t stop the number of women listening to rap music to increase.

Thanks to the answers of 3 listeners, we are going to show how listening to rap music as a woman, to the regret of all male listeners who think they have the monopoly, is truly possible.

 

Ana, 17, Montreuil, senior, litterature purposes

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« At the age of 9, I started to listen to US rap music with Snoop Dogg. I hanged around on Youtube when I came accross these tracks, then I listened to US rap music playlists, but I didn’t listen to french rap because I didn’t know it even existed. Today I know a lot of rappers and my favorites are  Biggie, NAS, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Meek Mill and Migos for US rap music, and also  Booba, Rohff, PNL, Damso and SCH for french rap music. Above all, rap music is for me the initials of « rythm and poetry »with beats inspired by others music genres (jazz or reggae) and lyrics inspired by personal experiences.

I think that, in rap music, women were always belitted, in lyrics as well as in music videos. In the latter, women are often objectified, paid to act as whores, often stripped to attract more viewers. In the lyrics, we can often feel a certain hatred towards women, certainly because of complicated relationships that the rapper has experienced. I find that degrading but I don’t really listen to the lyrics actually but more to the flow and to the artist’s voice. I absolutely don’t care about what some rapper think about some chick who hurt him.

I think that, just like men, I can listen to rap because we are equal. It’s not because tracks talk about whores that I can’t listen to it, no matter what narrow-minded people think. I think it’s possible to be a feminist and to listen to rap, no law is forbidding it, otherwise women wouldn’t rap, for instance. »

 

MOUNIA, 18, LONGWY, SENIOR, ECONOMICS PURPOSES

« For me rap is first of all a music genre and it’s complicated to find words to describe it so I would define it with the album Le code de l'horreur by Rohff or with L'école du micro d'argent by IAM. Thanks to my uncles, I came accross rap music : they listened to different genres but I remember that a lot of NTM or Kopp tracks were blaring out the car radio. I’d say that I really started to listen to rap music in junior high. My favorite rappers are PNL, Kaaris, Sadek, Kalash Criminel…

I don’t feel targeted when they talk about women in their tracks just because I’m a 18-year-old girl listener. Even if the women’s image has always been represented with chicks like Diam’s or nowadays with Shay, women are still very much degraded by rappers. Men or women, we’re all the same and I don’t think that rap is a male-only genre, society is changing. »

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ROMANE, 17, SAINT QUENTIN, SENIOR, SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES

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« I was lucky to have a very varied musical education, I grew up surrounded by music and I specifically clicked with rap music because of its clear and raw message. But I really started to get into it with Nessbeal when I was 8 or 10 years old. The good thing with rap music is that it’s divided in several more or less different styles. I’ve listened to and loved so many artists that I don’t think I’m capable of choosing my favorite artists. It’s a living genre that’s always changing.

The women’s image in rap music is a sore point. I think that in rap music women are considered as objects. Of course I don’t cry foul for all that because I know how to interpret figurative speech. I also take into account that rap is a game, an image that the artist is creating, which is almost a caricature. Let’s not forget that most rappers who say these things about women are married and have children (wink wink DUC), you only need to listen carefully and to engage your brain to understand that it’s only a game played with exaggeration. Moreover, if rap is more and more violent towards women it’s because it’s what people like and want to hear. For once I’d say that fighting for gender equality doesn’t prevent people from listening to « sexist » rap music at all (which doesn’t really exist in my opinion). On the contrary, even taken litterally, rap music enables to put ourselves in the shoes of the people we are fighting against, to interpret their ideas to better fight them. And rap music is not just that, I’d like to point out that lately, lots of women have been trying their hand at rap music and that they are still very welcome, for instane I think about very good artists like Princess Nokia. Rap is also defending other causes outside of feminism or related to it, like Mona Haydar who makes bold rap against islamophobia. For me, a Vraie Meuf (real girl) is self-confident and honest above all. »

written by Chahinaz, translated by Emeline