Black women have a love-hate relationship with hip-hop. We love the songs, but hate the degradation, colorism, misogyny and overall disrespect embedded throughout the genre. When they’re not in the booth, rappers often make their own misogynistic comments and are mostly unapologetic for it. It’s the same for the gay men, who have been the but of hip-hop’s jokes during its 40-year existence. Going through a Spotify mix and being assaulted with gay slurs and homophobic lyrics is surely disheartening.
After gangster rap emerged in the 1990s, hip-hop, which was still a fairly new genre, was slammed for its misogynistic and homophobic lyrics. Despite the protests and criticism in the early days, those two hateful ideologies didn’t die. Black women are still objectified in hip-hop but are also now more rejected. It gets tiring hearing about “bad yellow bones and red bones” all the time. I remember when I was a kid watching music videos and most of the video vixens were Black women. Now, you’re lucky to see a Black girl in a hip-hop video. Women who are seen as “foreign” are more celebrated by rappers like Future, 50 Cent and many more.
No matter how much the LGBTQ+ community asked to be respected (or just left alone) hip-hop won’t let go of it’s grudge against them either. Just last weekend, Da Baby saw it necessary to call out the gays while he was performing. He said:
If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up. Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain’t s****** dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.
Da Baby’s actions aren’t shocking, but more so another aggravating moment in hip-hop’s long history of disrespect for two of the world’s most vulnerable populations: Black women and LGBTQ people. Here’s 10 times hip-hop artists showed us how homophobic and misogynistic they really are.
West Coast Rap Emergence in the 1990s
If there was a Mount Rushmore for misogynoir and homophobia in hip-hop, N.W.A, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg would be on it. N.W.A can be seen as the pioneers, because when they emerged onto the rap scene in 1989, they were doing everything from rationalizing the use of the word “B*****” to degrade women, boasting about them being sexual objects and being proudly homophobic. When interviewed about it, they were never apologetic. Their catalog boasted songs a like “A B***** Is A B*****,” “She Swallowed It,” “I’d Rather F*** You and” Findum, F***em and Leave.” Besides these tracks, misogynoir was nestled somewhere into almost every song they ever made. When Dr. Dre left N.W.A and introduced Snoop Dogg to the world, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. They collaborated and catapulted to the top of the charts with their blatant misogyny. Their cringeworthy tracks included “It Ain’t Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)” and “B***** Ain’t S***,”G’z Up Hoes Down.”
Politicians spoke against it, but their attempts to get rid of these artists was totally unsuccessful. When he wasn’t rapping and producing, Dr. Dre was accused of living out some of his lyrics after women like Michel’e and Dee Barnes accused of him of physically assaulting them.
When the West won, Black women and the gays lost.