Final Project Milestone – Essay Example
Gangsta Rap: Observations on Sexuality and Gender Please indicate Please indicate your school Please indicate the Abstract
Gangsta rap contains highly sexual messages. Songs usually celebrate sexual promiscuity and sexual aggressiveness of both males and females. However, the songs ultimately affirm male sexual dominance, whether as the initiator of sexual acts or as the beneficiary.
Gangsta Rap: Observations on Sexuality and Gender
The gangsta rap, is a sub-genre of rap music or of the hip-hop culture as a whole. Among its pioneers were Schooly D (Emery, 1997) and Ice T (Perkins, 1996). Its differentiating character lies in the themes it portrays. The name, which comes from the word "gangster," captures the themes covered by the sub-genre. The themes associated with gangsta rap revolve around the lives of American inner city "gangstas." Songs usually deal with drugs, crimes, violence, and rebellion against authorities.
Gangsta rap is also known for the highly sexual content of its rap compositions. Such compositions come in the form of first-person narratives of the rappers day-to-day sexual activities and encounters. For example, rapper Ice T usually includes his name in his songs. The use of slang and colloquial words contributes to the conversational story-telling tone of the rap numbers. Choice of words are blunt. Sex-related words, such as "sex," "fuck," "butt naked," bitch," and "pussy," are heavily used. Promiscuous and frequent sexual activity are unapologetically lauded.
The portrayal of the sexual relationships between males and females in gangsta rap is focused on the physical. The subjects of commitment and emotional connection are practically absent. Gangsta rap narratives are told from an adolescent male perspective, in accordance with the male-as-the-sexually-aggressive stereotype (Rathus, Nevid, Fichner-Rathus & Herold, 2004). Masculine and feminine images of the body are told with exaggeration and with boastful tones. However, in opposition to the "passive female" stereotype, gangsta rap exalts the sexual aggressiveness of females for the benefit of the males. There are also songs on homosexuals with homophobic tones, again told from the heterosexual male perspective. An example of such is the song, "Paul Revere" by the Beastie Boys (1986).
Emery, A. (1997). Schoolly D - Original Gangsta. Retrieved from http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/schooly_ d_original_gangsta.htm
Horovitz, A., Simmons, J. McDaniels, D. & Rubin, R. (1986). Paul Revere. On License to Ill [vinyl]. Netherlands: Def Jam
Perkins, W. E. (1996). Droppin Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.
Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., Fichner-Rathus, L., & Herold, E. S. (2004). Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada Inc.