April 29, 2005



If you missed it, here is the text of Elizabeth Méndez Berry's sidebar from the Times A&L, a few Sundays ago:

April 17, 2005 Sunday

Taking the Rap

Questioning rap music's portrayals of women is becoming something of a cottage industry: Essence magazine has sponsored a ''Take Back the Music'' campaign, and town hall meetings and conferences are popping up all over. At the University of Chicago's ''Feminism and Hip Hop'' event last weekend, musicians, scholars and activists were joined by some of the young listeners they professed to be most worried about: a group of Chicago high school students, who held their own panel. Elizabeth Mendez Berry spoke with them about some of the lyrics and images under question.

''There's a song now by the Ying Yang Twins called the 'Whisper Song.' Oh my God. I went down to my sister's college and this guy was playing that song, but it was the real version, not the edited version. And I was like, 'Could you please turn that off?' Even though they're making money on it, that is not right. I don't think they would want their mother to be called a bitch.''

Bianca Keyes, 17

''Truthfully I'm not a feminist yet 'cause I don't get the real hard meaning. I don't understand how when a man calls a woman a bitch or a ho, she gets offended, but when some girls call other girls bitches or ho's, they don't get offended. My cousin is a pimp, and he doesn't smack the girls around or anything. He's nice to them, he gives them money. It's just a job for him.''

Christopher Durr, 16

''When I think about Nelly's 'Tip Drill' video'' -- in which Nelly runs a credit card between a woman's nearly bare buttocks -- ''I do think that he was just making money. He didn't say that all women are tip drills. But then again, why do you have to make a song like that?''

Jessica Robinson, 17

Posted by Sasha at April 29, 2005 11:18 AM | TrackBack