I love Hip Hop, always have. The freedom in expression shown through lyrical rhyme and rhythm is to die many.
Many artists, rappers, and singers have used this mighty genre to promote outspoken anthems against the system, racism, and even what they were brought out of.
It's a passionate genre of formation that deserves to be praised.
However what doesn't deserve to be glorified – what doesn't deserve to be looked the other way – is abuse.
Are just a few names of men who have dominated the industry of their times. They have been ridiculed, accused, and put in the spot light for countless situations involving the battering, physical, and emotional assault of women – yet we still listen to them. We still are okay with them being on our stages. We still let them make music that objectifies the women who were put through these experiences at the expense of selling a damn record.
And so we claim to let Hip Hop go on. We honor these men only as men – and not as abusers. We let them off and we keep letting them engage in a community where expression used to keep people safe.
And I for one have a problem with that. I have a problem that one of favorite genres of music supports so called artists who control, physically hit, and manipulate women. I have a problem with men having rap sheets so long with domestic violence and yet we continue to let them rap about controlling women.
I keep asking myself how can we make music better. How can we make Hip Hop or any genre of music that still lets artists in its gates that have hurt people in?
You see abuse is lasting damage. It is constantly being brought to the place by fans of "remember when Rihanna was knocked the heck out". Or all those women that came forward and said they were controlled by R. Kelly.
While their careers and their lyrics are spitting, their survivors have to live every day through hell. Abuse is something you can come out of – but it's not something you forget.
Many of these men are still favored as saviors of the world of music – but what if we took a step back and examined their actions. What if we held them accountable? What if we stopped glorifying them, and looked at what they did with their fists, words, actions, and control.
It might change the way we view them. It might make people take a step back, and say enough is enough. Afterall don't we want artists we can look up to, not ones we have to fear?
Shouldn't we want to embrace role models that actually are making a difference and not ones who have caused harm?
Hip-hop is a great genre, so why don't we embrace the royal side of it more by taking a stand and telling abusers who call themselves artists that enough is enough. And we aren't looking back anymore.
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