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Women In Hip Hop Magazines Essay

3209 words - 13 pages

Hip-hop began as a form of African-American street culture in New York City during the 1970s (Watkins, 2001), but the art has expanded to become a multi-billion dollar industry (Atkinson & Halliday, 2003), mostly due to the success of rap music, the most widely publicized and marketed aspect. Media such as television and magazines are responsible for hip-hop’s global recognition today, allowing everyone from the United States to Germany and Korea to embrace the culture (Bennett, 1999). Hip-hop culture has made an enormous transition from its beginning stages to its current state. Early hip-hop reduced inner-city gang violence, as aspects such as the break dancing and rapping acted as ...view middle of the document...

2). Several sources (Bolls, Chen, & Popeski, 2001; Coleman 2006; Watkins, 2001) agree that rap is a male-dominant genre; Male artists such as Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and Afrika Bambaataa , all male, are a few of the wildly successful hip-hop acts in history (Atkinson & Halliday, 2003). Countless females have attempted to match the success of these artists, and despite being pioneers of their craft, renowned female rappers such as MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Lil’ Kim were commercially unsuccessful compared to their male counterparts (Keyes, 2000).

Even female lyricists have transformed from depicting themselves as beautiful and intelligent women “highly respected for their creative skills” (p. 10), to highly materialistic, violent and lewd women who exploit their sex appeal in an attempt to gain approval and money from today’s hip-hop community (Keyes, 2000).

Though not directly related to hip-hop magazines or their advertisements, sSeveral studies have highlighted the link between hip-hop culture and views of women. One study, for example, examined how listeners perceived the lyrics of sexually-themed rap group 2 Live Crew. In this experimental study, Dixon & Linz (1997) exposed 80 males and 80 females to two genres of music: rap (specifically 2 Live Crew) and non-rap (R&B, pop, rock, etc). The subjects were subjected to music of high, medium, and low sexual explicitness, and then asked to judge the music based on its “patent offensiveness, prurient appeal, and artistic merit” (p. 1) regarding 2 Live Crew and rap music in general. The results signify that 2 Live Crew’s music was generally rated as more offensive than any other musicas the most offensive, and interestingly, women found 2 Live Crew to be as offensive as men. These results indicate that women identify lyrics as sexually explicit as 2 Live Crew the same as men, botht the male and female subjects found the 2 Live Crew equally offensive, meaning that the ideas of objectifying and degrading women differ very little if at all between genders.

(Took out this paragraph because it is only 2 sentences and doesn’t seem to fit the ones surrounding it. If its necessary information I would add some more meat to it or add it to another paragraph somewhere else)In a similar study, Bolls, Chen, & Popeski (2003) discuss the desensitization effect, in which those who view large amounts of violence or sex become less disturbed by it. If a viewer watched several music videos that portrayed women in a sexually explicit nature, the person would become more accepting to these depictions.

Women in the hip-hop community today rely more on their looks than their skill to succeed, although their prominence in the hip-hop scene was once equal to that of men in regards to the acceptance into the culture (Keyes, 2000). (Which study?)The study will verify the lack of equal representation of women in the hip-hop world. Scholars such as Campbell (2004), Demarest & Garner (1992), Rubin, West, & Mitchell...

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