Last week's Mindless Entertainment column, "Bad and we ain't even mad," left me frustrated with its inaccuracy. While I understand it was not a full-blown opinion article, it was incompletely researched and hastily written.
It is clear that the author's point is that hip-hop is becoming less offensive and possibly more respectful toward women, especially when judged against its roots in the 1980s. This premise is a generalized statement with no support. It disregards older artists like conscientious rappers (early Run-DMC) and come-together party artists (Afrika Bambaataa).
Additionally, the examples used are skewed by editing choices. The "best example" given - Drake - has one line about his girlfriend's beauty and then multiple verses about having sex from behind (a position commonly acknowledged as impersonal and objectifying), saying he will make her "f---in' bra strap pop." These verses in the same song overpower the sole line about her beauty.
Many of Drake's other songs, especially freestyles, are sexually vulgar, entirely contradicting this woman-loving image that is being projected upon him. In this piece, the majority of his repertoire has been neglected to prove a point.
Another song mentioned was Young Money's "Bedrock." The author cited Gudda's verse, though she actually quoted Millz's lyrics. While Millz's one verse does speak to female respect, the song's premise is about hot sex and that Young Money is only "loving for the moment," as stated in Tyga's verse. How is that more empowering than the alluded-to objectification of the '80s?
Finally, Lil Wayne was brought up with glaring contradictions. Similar to Drake, Wayne has one complimentary line in a song about having sex with every girl in the world. Every. Girl. This is of course disregarding the rest of his expansive rap career, where lines like "F--- b------, get money" are some of his best known and widely recognized. Lil Wayne does not represent female empowerment.
I admit that, with artists like Ne-Yo, who consistently respect women ("Miss Independent," "She Got Her Own"), a small part of hip-hop culture is representing females positively. The examples given in the column do not reflect this, inaccurately complimenting artists who base their careers on female objectification and degradation.
With so few positive examples, it's not safe to say the days of Ying Yang Twins' "Whisper" are behind us. Seriously, have you heard Pitbull's "Hotel Room"?
-Kathleen Cardinali, Class of 2010