Not by a long shot. But it’s a genre that has a lot of the same issues that rap has, which is that it gets overly violent, with references to rape, shootings and murders. A lot of it relies on violence as a way of telling stories to a younger demographic, or for entertainment value. It’s a big problem in the media.
“What do you think about the way that it’s portrayed through rap, in the culture of rap, as violence, in so many ways? And what are your thoughts on the cultural context for the music? Do you think rappers are responsible for that? As a teenager and adult, what was it like growing up listening to hip hop music?”
Laurie: I think hip hop got a lot of things completely wrong. It’s really just a lot of teenage misanthropy. It’s a very dark time in our society now, where everybody’s blaming each other, and there are not as many positive things. There’s a problem with gangsta rap. Rap is the music of the youth, and they get super angry when they have a bad day, so they use a gang slang to communicate, and they are super passionate about their music. In my opinion, the rap music today is probably the worst that I have ever heard.
“Does that mean everyone in the music industry should be ashamed? Or are we at such a point in the cultural consciousness that we need to be ashamed of it?
Feminist: No, I don’t think it’s such a shame. But I do think it’s a big problem, and I think that hip hop, at a certain point, has taken itself too seriously. As well as some of the issues that are in the culture.
Laurie: There’s a lot of hate in that music now, because of the rape joke, which is something that I can’t stand. It’s very sexist. At the same time there are all these female rappers that are putting out some of the best rap music right now.
“You’ve mentioned your work on your book on the black female experience. Do you think that black women will be better prepared for the challenges and opportunities that hip hop will present?”
Feminist: A lot of black women, particularly in the hip hop world, would rather be part of a pop and hip hop subculture instead. But I’m also looking to black women to help me understand the culture of their cultures. We don’t have
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