Masculinity in Rap and Hip Hop

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Tasia Walker
Masculinity in Rap and Hip Hop

Today in Hip Hop every rapper has to portray themselves as being hard, having a lot of girls in their circle and having money. Since the beginning of the American society being considered a real man was to be able to protect their families. When television came around western films portrayed men as either strong or weak and defined their masculinity as being the stronger man because of their guns. For example in a western movie during a draw two men would be about twenty feet away from each other and whichever man shot the other man first won the draw and was then considered the dominant male and very masculine. Therefore what goes on in rap songs about the talk of gun play and who is more masculine between rappers is nothing new in American society.

All of the violent lyrics in rap songs could have stemmed from the effects of the crack era. During that time a lot of gang activity arose therefore whoever was the” hardest” or had more power was looked at as more masculine. Gangsta rap also influenced hardcore lyrics to the extent that majority of today’s rap lyrics contain talk about guns, pimping, violence and homophobia.

Being a homosexual is not acceptable in rap, especially for a male. Today in society, for females there is a lot of homosexuality occurring. Many believe it’s a fad and I believe mainstream media has a lot to do with it because you have artists such as Nicki Minaj and Kreashawn who claim to be bisexual and homosexual. Viewers who listen to them want to hop onto the band wagon to be like them and they think it’s cool. Even artists who are not within the Hip Hop genre are claiming to be bisexual such as Lady Gaga. Mainstream uses the sexuality people to sell records, obviously. In rap lyrics homosexuality is used as a threat to question another male’s masculinity. A rapper may use derogatory terms such as “faggot” or “you must be a p****”. Even Lil...
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