From Fly-Girls to Bitches and Hoes

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ENG 110-08

From Fly-Girls
Joan Morgan

What qualities of hip-hop music and rap artists does Morgan admire or appreciate? What fears does she have for rap’s female fans and for the artists themselves? To what extent do you agree with Morgan’s assessment of the misogyny, anger, and despair expressed by hip-hop?

Although Morgan addresses the negatives to hip-hop music and rap, she also highlights what she appreciates and admires about it. The things she values in this style of music is that it offers a rare opportunity for black men to voice their despair, and she values the fact that its popularity provides a channel for a strong voice commenting on their communities. Morgan argues that listeners should hear these sexist and angry lyrics as a sign that large-scale changes that are necessary in the opportunities available to black men. Morgan fears that black men and women are in a perpetual state of anger, willing to sacrifice themselves and each other in their despair and feeling fatalistically sure that they will hardly live into responsible adulthood. She is aware that one sign that rap music is not a productive solution— in addition to the misogyny it promotes — is that women participate in the sexism of rap videos and seem all too willing to sacrifice self-esteem to be a part of the rap culture. Thus Morgan’s call to address the problems rap music identifies is really a call for two things: an outlet for black men’s frustration that enables their voices to be heard without requiring black women to be demeaned in the process, and a change in the opportunities available to black men. She also fears the violence in the music and points at this as evidence of despair. I agree with Morgan’s claims because writing and singing are outlets for people to express their emotions and issues. I feel that lyrics all have a deeper meaning and purpose to them than just the actual words being said. Morgan makes valid points and explains and addresses...
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