“Fuckin’ hoes since I was ten/Puttin in, pullin out and then I do it again/bitches touching me like I’m Case, make ’em feel so good like Mase and 3 days later, I’m talkin shit to their face…”
–from the rap “One Life to Live” written by Sasha (13 yrs old)
It’s no surprise that music and it’s lyrics become the moniker for how many live out their lives. Music is the banner by which many take up their personas, unmethodically assuming characters expressed by the vocalist and the images projected through their lyrics. We live these designs through our mind and eventually, they become manifested in our day to day lives.
The concept of rape (physically, spiritually and mentally) has been indoctrinated from youth.
When I was thirteen, rappers in 1998 had expressed themselves to a level where there was a no-holds bar construct and “keeping it real can never go wrong.” The lyricist within the mainstream sect of rap music, by this time, had assumed personalities of Italian-mafia druglords, spending money from ill-gotten gain and enjoying the pleasures of the best alcohol, women and weed. And with parents who threw out my CDs at every purchase, it was my desire to listen to this music out of straight rebellion.
The rhyme shared above was just a sliver of lyrics from a two-page rap that I wrote at the age of thirteen, pretending that I was a ghostwriter for a male lyricist. In my head, I composed what I thought a man who was in the “rap-game” at the current time would say and that people would like. From the “fuck bitches” to “gettin’ money” to “shootin’ niggas” M.O. that ran rampant in that era of popular rap, I thought that’s what would garner the most listeners. Subconsciously, my personality adopted this mindset as a young girl and I soon took on both the male and female identities presented in the music: aggressively dominant and sexually submissive.
In a male-dominated society, the authority presented in rap lyrics that present such concepts puts its listeners at the helm of making a decision about how they choose to conduct themselves. If we were to analyze this thought, we’d see that people were/are choosing to conduct themselves by way of the lifestyles presented. Though claimed to be entertainment and projections of fantasy, the people who are expressing these ideas are real and the materials accumulated from these ideas are real. At 17, I found myself desiring the “thug-life” and the men that lived this lifestyle; my boyfriend at the time was a drug-dealer who allotted me the experience of enjoying the gains from his “work.” It was only a matter of time before things got too real and a good friend was killed, one of my homegirl’s chose the game over college and I slowly watched my little brothers take on the personas of the men that were beginning to turn me off.
Sadly, this reality was formed by decisions of fantasy, embedded in the mind of a girl who chose to embrace the role of a woman through the depiction by popular rap music instead of what her mother was showing her. It was this very reason why my father threw out my CDs until he just got tired of fighting me (plus Napster had found its way into our home and I knew he wasn’t going to throw the computer out.) It cannot be denied that there is a program being projected through lyrics that only garners mainstream appeal when demoralizing a woman while outlining her purpose to be that of arm candy or sexual pleasure. This “mindfuck” has been occurring for a long time, even before rap, and the mental rape of women through rhymes of conditioning them to accept the idea that their mind, body and soul belongs to anyone who chooses her sets the precedent for a physical rape that even then, has the potential to be excused by both the woman and the assailant.
The concept of rape (physically, spiritually and mentally) has been indoctrinated from youth. Will it end? Who knows. In my eyes, it’ll be either when the Father comes or I die and unfortunately, that’s the program that many women live with all of their lives. As for a solution, encouraging music that projects different images are vital to a healthy mentality about the woman would be vital for both the male and female construct, thus potentially planting seeds for healthier relationships between them. The question is: do we want to hear music that exalts a cultural perspective different from the one we’ve established or is that just too far-fetched for this society?