Music is one of the biggest and most influential forms of media today. People across the world are able to voice their opinions and their beliefs through music. Some people who find it hard to voice their beliefs turn to music all the time. Not only to voice their opinion, but people also turn to music to escape from reality for a little while. I love music. Music has been and will always be a part of my life. I turn on the radio and I hear music. I turn on the television, and at one point while watching TV, music will come on the television. Music is all around us. Music has all types of messages. There are countless genres of music, all of them having their own message they are trying to get across.
Today, hip-hop and R&B have become genres that primarily focus on women. More times than not, these women are depicted as sexual objects or pieces of meat. Honestly, I sometimes find myself humming the tune or singing along to some of these songs. However, the more I listen to these types of songs, the more I realize how disgusting these lyrics about using women truly are. It is somewhat embarrassing to listen to some of these songs.
I was born and raised in a small town amongst the cornfields of Indiana. I was raised to give women respect, and to treat them with the utmost respect. I am lucky to say that I was raised in a family where women aren’t looked at as animals, and aren’t expected to wait on men hand and foot. I am lucky to say that I was brought up in a family that recognizes women as individuals that matter in this world, and deserve more credit than they are actually given.
When I hear songs about “makin’ it nasty” and “fuckin’ bitches”, its annoys me when I hear countless songs about the mistreatment of women. I feel like the hip-hop of today’s generation needs to learn a few lessons from some of the true kings of hip-hop. One of those kings whom these “rappers” need to take notes from is none other than Tupac Shakur, one of the most famous rappers to ever live. In one of his most famous songs “Keep Ya Head Up”, Tupac raps about how women needed to be treated with respect, and that men are mistreating women. Tupac brings up a lot of issues that exist still today in regards to the mistreatment of women. Here is the particular verse that I am talking about:
Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holler to my sisters on welfare
Tupac cares, if don’t nobody else care
And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot
When you come around the block brothas clown a lot
But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain’t nothin’ don’t believe him
And if he can’t learn to love you you should leave him
Cause sista you don’t need him
And I ain’t tryin to gash up, I just call em how I see em
You know it makes me unhappy
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but you gotta keep your head up
This is the type of attitude rappers making music today need to have. It is sad to think that Tupac was killed, because if there were more people with the views he had, this world might be a better place. Tupac didn’t only make music about the proper treatment of women, but he also rapped about issues of race, class, and religion. All around, Tupac was a rapper who tried to bring awareness to people through his music. I believe that this world is lucky that a person like Tupac was able to grace humanity with his positive and revolutionary ideas.
I encourage you to listen to the rest of the song “Keep Ya Head Up” by Tupac Shakur: