Bell Hooks and Music

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In reading bell hooks' opinion about sexism and misogyny I had to admit to myself that I had no idea what she meant by sexism and misogyny. So, to accurately know what she was referring to, I looked them up on the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. For the word sexism, I found there were two meanings that support hooks' ideas: 1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially: discrimination against women and 2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. The word misogyny, according to Merriam-Webster, is: a hatred of women. With these definitions, I feel that both words with their meanings truly expose what bell hooks is telling us what Americans, and it seems she talks about the black male Americans, think of the black female culture.

In ‘Gangsta Culture…' bell hooks tells us that the ‘patriarchal ways of thinking…are glorified in gangsta rap' (116) and I think she's right. Although I do not think she is right in all that she says in this narrative. She also says that ‘young black males are forced to take the heat for encouraging via their music the hatred of and violence against women…' (116), and this I do not believe it completely true. She believes that the black men of America have taken themselves to a new degree in order to make themselves ‘higher' than black women – she believes that the black men should be equal to the black women and that the men should believe that as well. She talks about Calvin Broadus a.k.a. Snoop Doggy Dog (which he later changed to the current title ‘Snoop Dogg') and his album Doggystyle. She tells us that the cover is degrading toward black women, which it is, but not just to black women, to all women.

bell hooks shows us that black male sexism is real and it is in America's music. She is correct, but it is not just against the white people of America. Snoop Dogg's album is degrading toward the girl whose butt's out of the doghouse, but it was her choice for one; and for two, it's not just black women he's degrading on the cover. hooks is just placing blame on Snoop's cover, but she doesn't say much about his music, this is where the music of the gangsta culture comes to play. In 1993, Snoop ‘Doggy' Dogg put out an album entitled Doggystyle, and its front portrait is describing a form of male dominance toward the woman society and one of the dog's is saying ‘Nuttin but Da Dogg in Me', it's not what Snoop sang about. People, mainly hooks, put Snoop and others down for the pictures or actions toward women; except she has one problem, in my eyes, his music doesn't back up his cover. Since 1993, Snoop Dogg has made a number of albums including Top Dogg and Paid Tha Cost to Be Da Bo$$. These albums show how much Snoop has grown as an artist. (I am not condoning his behavior toward women, whether it be on his covers or at the music awards this last year, but I am excusing it because his music seems to say something different than his ‘P.I.M.P.' exterior.) In his album Doggystyle, Snoop has a song called Gz Up Hoes Down, and his lyrics are as followed: "Chorus:

Well, all the real Gz please stand up and
let all be accounted for, and if you don't give a f***
about a b****, then you're rolling with the row
Outro:
Hell yeah, YaknowhatI'msayin?
This is stricly for the Gz, yeah
F*** that b****
Niggaz alwayz be handcuffin that hoe
when a nigga like me steps in the place
I don't want that hoe, I don't love that hoe
I'm caught up with my greens: collard greens, indo, and the cash flow YaknowhatI'msayin?
Peace...
Gz up, Hoes Down" (www.lyred.com)

This is not the solitary song on this album, of course, but it is merely the ONE song that is even remotely demeaning toward women. Calling any girl a ‘hoe' is wrong, in my opinion, but saying ‘hoes down' is erroneous because of what he is saying (that the girls go down).

As Snoop matures as an artist and rapper, he makes better albums. His 1991 hit...
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