From the 1970s when DJ Kool Herc first inspired hip-hop to today, hip-hop has been continuously changing. Hip hop began as a positive creation to draw teenagers out of gang life and prevent violence. DJ Kool Herc founded Universal Zulu Nation to promote this. Now, hip-hop has digressed back to promoting violence, advocating sexual intercourse, usage of drugs, showing that money can buy anything, especially materialistic things, and the degradation of women. Many artists portray women as useless and invaluable through their lyrics. The degradation of women in hip-hop has changed the way society views and treats women. In a way, it is instructing future generation males that it is acceptable to degrade women and future generation females that it is acceptable to tolerate the mistreatment.
Most artists’ songs, especially rappers, describe women as “wh*res” or “b*tch.” Artist K Camp is no stranger to this. K Camp is rapper from Atlanta, GA, but was born in Milwaukee, WI. He started performing with a group called HBC in high school. This led to the start of his career in 2009 when he performed open mic alongside with Waka Flocka Flame and Travis Porter.
During this time, K Camp created a track called “All Night,” but the song was not a big hit outside of the college crowds. This track talks about a woman dancing for money and putting on a show. We take it all the way down to the ground. You got that booty girl, it goes around &’round. How long can you go, I should be throwin’ ones in the air for this show. You take it all the way down, girl it’s show time, your time, girl it’s go time… You take it all the way down, girl it’s show time, your time, girl it’s go time… The lyrics depict a woman as an object to draw men. The next track was “Do It,” in which he created the hook for the song, but it was questionable if he was actually on the song. This song states: “We can start off on this floor. End up on that bed, you rubbin through my head. While I’m all between yo legs. Imma hit it from the front, back, side, side.. Girl I love the way you do it.”
K Camp and Mykko Montana explain women as sexual objects throughout the song and also calling her “b*tch”. Camp continued to create his image and build his reputation. He made releases such as Fan4life, Show Money, and In Due Time privately. Due to his career enduring ups and downs with management, K Camp hired his mother as his manager. He jokes in one of his interviews that his mother knows every song that he has made, even “Cut That B*tch Off.”
With that particular song, K Camp expresses how this song came about (Garland, Maurice. “Who is K Camp? How the ATL Rapper Behind “Money Baby” Turned Setbacks into Get Backs.” Complex Music. 29 January 2014. Web.). Of course it had to do with a woman. One night when K Camp was recording in the studio inside his home, he received a text message from a female he was trying to have relations with saying, “What are you doing?” His response, “I’m recording, pull up” and she response, “Ok.” Later, he runs to the gas station to purchase alcohol and receives a text message asking if he just passed her. In the end, the female states that she’s going to leave, and K Camp becomes upset. When he returns home, he begins to freestyle and creates this song. This freestyle became a popular hit, and once again, one of K Camp’s song disrespects women.
Recently in early 2014, there was a mixtape released called K.I.S.S. PT. 2. All the songs on this mixtape talk about women being used for sexual intercourse or money and how she will allow a man to treat her as he pleases. For example, the song “Blessing” includes lyrics such as: “Yeah I love when your body on top of me when I’m deep inside no stopping me, I’m gone hit it so good you’d be proud of me. We can do what you want but don’t lie to me. Want you to know that you’re blessing.Yeah baby girl you’re a blessing. Want you to know that you are a blessing. Yeah baby girl you’re a blessing.” Because all of K Camp’s songs oppress women, this may explain a lot about his life. He may have negative situations with women since they seem not to be good enough for him. On this mixtape, other artist like Nash B, Young Ex, and Big Fruit also participate in the act. The degradation of women has been in action and around for so long, that many people do not value it nor believe that it is important.
From a different point of view, in an article called Hip-Hop: The False Advertisement of Women, women are used to represent the success of artists. Women are treated as an accessory to prove that the artist has accomplished reaching the top. Rappers feel if they treat women as a collector’s item, then they can express their new success. Also, the women used in the videos have to be the sexiest women. The reason for this is to draw the attention of younger generations, especially young men, in order to make them believe that the people in the videos are living a good life. But what hope does this give for the future generations? None. It only encourages them to disrespect women, treating them as a product, using money to get them, and keeping the ideology that women are gold diggers. This may create a sense of insecurities for women, low self-esteem, and allow them to feel as if they have no values. Rappers are not thinking about the ideas that younger generations will create when they are sitting in front of the television watching someone state vulgar words, or throw money in the air as if money grows on tress or is easy to come by. These are false expectations.
Rappers and artists need to stop leading younger generations in the wrong direction. What can be changed to create the same idea that they can succeed, but change the message that they do not have to be disrespectful? Some artist and rappers are trying to change the message like the rapper Common. In the article Chicago Rapper Common Says Hip-Hop Artists Can Help Reduce Violence, describes how he is worried about the violence in his hometown of Chicago. Days before this article was published, there was a shooting that wounded thirteen people. Common believes that the key to ending the cycle of violence in hip hop music is to create more educational programs and initiatives. Change is coming to hip hop music, but it’s coming step by step.