Recently, rapper A$AP Bari has been exposed for the rape of a woman. A video was leaked showing Bari in a hotel room forcing a naked woman from under the sheets and grabbing her as she cries “stop stop”, her name is Malika Anderson (The video will not be linked in this article). He has been taken in by UK officials. We all know rape culture is alive and well by now, but the hip-hop aspect adds another layer to it. The layer is extracting rappers from their music, and looking at them as a person and what they stand for.
Kodak Black was charged with rape in February 2017. News media, songs, social media posts were filled with people saying “Free Kodak”. There is overwhelming support for rapists in this country because they’re able to entertain. As hard as it is for women to receive justice for being victims of rape, it is typically only concerned when it’s a family member of an individual, “Imagine if that was your sister”, or “Imagine if that was your daughter”. As if the victim has to know a man who values them personally for their attack to be deemed important.
However, rap has always had artists who talk about rape,
“Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it
I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it”
“I don’t really give a fuck,
I’ll tear this house up thinkin you not gon’ let me fuck”
So what should hip-hop fans do when a rap artist is accused of rape or talks about raping a woman? Well, let’s start off with not promoting or supporting rapists. It doesn’t matter how good an artist is if they are violating and raping other humans. Listening to music by rapists is supporting rape. People must be held accountable for their actions, but it’s also on the hip-hop community to not promote or support music made by a rapist. This will make a huge difference. Hip-hop has always been fluent with what is going within the hip-hop community. In the 80’s Public Enemy was fighting the power, today YG is yelling, “Fuck Donald Trump”. Hip-hop is made of the people, so if people can be critical consumers, rapists won’t be making thousands of dollars.
“We (are) Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is goin where we goin
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin
ask yourself.. where am I goin? How am I doin?
Til you get a clear idea
So.. if Hip-Hop is about the people
and the.. Hip-Hop won’t get better until the people get better
then how do people get better? (Hmmmm…)
Well, from my understanding people get better
when they start to understand that, they are valuable”
Rap music is full of rappers who would never speak about a woman like some do. Especially create harm towards a woman in any way. It is important to value those rappers who have a message and want to inflict positivity and real counter-stories to the affects of poverty in regards to African-American men. Unfortunately, those rappers are often swept into the underground scene or have retired from the rap industry. I would highly suggest digging into rap music from the 80’s or search for rappers who actually have something to say. I understand everyone is just trying to make their way, but rappers like Ugly God who rap like drunk rich high school students shouldn’t be uplifted.