As much as we expect our celebrities to be role models, they consistently let us down.
Adultery scandals, alleged pedophilia, tax evasion charges, phoned-in third albums…these things serve to tarnish our perception of artists and often keep money we’d spend on them in our pockets. In most instances, I don’t think this should be the case: most of us have a demon or three we’re not proud of, and celebrity status really shouldn’t serve as an excuse to chain folks to a different moral standard unless you’re a politician.
That said, everyone has something, and I imagine if I were a woman living in this society, I wouldn’t support the wanton misogyny coming from the most popular rappers in the game. Damn near every top 40 rapper has bars rife with negativity and violence toward women, and some of our most lauded arts have allegedly taken that off the wax: Notorious B.I.G., Tupac and Big Pun, among others, have all been accused of putting hands where they don’t belong.
Recently, rapper Joe Budden was dragged through the mud of public opinion for allegedly beating his ex – model dime Esther Baxter – to the point where he caused the miscarriage of their child. He didn’t catch a case, but at least three semi-famous women have spoken out against Budden for laying hands; even he admitted he “sat lightly below” Baxter’s breasts (on her pregnant belly) and “gently pulled her off the bed” the night of their argument.
Indeed, Twitter reveals that many of Budden’s female fans not only still love him, but would love nothing more than to be the next topic of a song describing his interminable drama with the opposite sex. If I were a female with any feminist scruples, listening to Budden would be no better than copping a disc full of jazz standards by David Duke.
Hip-hop lyrics contain many things I’m ideologically and morally opposed to, but I listen anyway because I’m an ardent fan and I accept that tastelessness is often aligned with the music. But really, I just accept it because it doesn’t bother me so much as a black male. However, I’ll never go see a Mel Gibson movie again, because I just don’t know how I can reconcile him talking about packs of n*ggers raping women with dropping $11 in support of his material.
So then, where is the line? Are we ignorant for consuming things from people who do or say things with which we disagree?