Misogyny and homophobia are conformist ideas in hip-hop

If you were to listen to classic West Coast Hip-Hop group N.W.A.’s song “I Ain’t The 1” you may get a pretty good understanding on the topic of masculinity and women in hip-hop. Lyricist and rapper Ice Cube raps “Run out of money and watch your heart break. They’ll drop you like a bad habit. Cause a brother with money, yo, they gotta have it.” That’s just one of the lines in this 4 minute song but it wraps up what Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and DJ Yella of N.W.A. at the time probably thought about women. These views have proven to be very detrimental to the hip-hop movement, holding progress back years and years.

In order for hip-hop to be taken seriously as an art form, things need to be changed. Artists who casually refer to women as sex objects and not contributing, living, members of their own communities destroy other’s hard work almost instantly.

Not only is hip-hop riddled with misogyny, homophobia runs rampant in the scene and related scenes. Listeners can barely get through mainstream rap albums without hearing “no homo” or homophobic slurs. As of 2014, about 4 percent of the United States population personally identified on the LGTBQ spectrum. While that doesn’t seem like a large number compared to the whole, it adds up.

Despite the fact that it seems hard to change, misogyny and homophobia doesn’t have to be the norm. Some artists continue to push the boundaries of what’s okay among rappers and hip-hop fans. Singer-songwriter, Frank Ocean has always challenged homophobia in his work. Ocean is one of the first commercially successful artists to come out and is still celebrated regardless of his sexual preferences. Atlanta based rapper, Young Thug, commonly wears women’s clothing, reappropriating dresses as shirts and becoming an Internet sensation on things like his outfits alone. Young Thug often is subjected to questions about his sexuality, something he does not necessarily give a concrete answer on. Some even think Young Thug is even gender fluid. Young Thug, or Thugger, is a prime example of what the industry needs: individualism. Not conforming to the standard of verbally and sometimes physically assaulting the homosexual and belittling women, is what really will progress hip-hop into the place it needs to be.