By William T. Hoston (auth.)
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Additional resources for Black Masculinity in the Obama Era: Outliers of Society
This chapter opens dialogue on rap songs that contain the misogynistic message of sexual assault and rape because several major themes became apparent in interviews with Black male participants. , cars, jewelry, and popping bottles in the club), and contains “degrading” lyrics that demean women and celebrate rape. Jermaine, Former Professional Athlete, 41, believed, “The current state of rap music is in shambles. Young men only talk about selling drugs, smoking weed, popping bottles and raping women.
Do they realize the effect their lyrics have on the younger generation of Black males? Bruce H. Wade and Cynthia A. Thomas-Gunner (1993), in their study of the effect of rap lyrics on the attitudes of Black college students, found that Black males “agreed that rap [music] accurately reflects at least some of the reality of gender relations between black males and females” (58). Males who preferred listening to songs that contained misogynistic messages had significantly more rape-prone attitudes.
One explanation for the embrace of this variation of the N-words can be found in Elijah Anderson’s (1999) book, Code of the Streets, whereby he discusses how mutual honor and respect within a subculture, particularly among Black males, brings about an unwritten code and ascribes a separate language among the members. Those who assert themselves within this subculture must display specific characteristics such as aggression and willingness to defend themselves, which is essential for formulating an identity among their peers and for gaining respect.
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