A lotta my girls come up to me sayin’ “Oh I just like the beats. I don’t listen to what they sayin”
Them beats open you up and you just let everything seep in. When you breathing it in—all the language, these words– they creep in like second hand smoke.
One of my favorite artists is Dr Dre and he’s rough on the ladies, man. I swear I don’t even register it.
I’m so like “Ooooh how he get his drums to slap like that?!”
“Daaaaayyyyum—the EQ on them overdubs”
— Peep One in HYPE MAN, p. 41
When Peep says Dr. Dre is rough on the ladies, she’s speaking to the issues that Dr. Dre presents in his music and relationships with women, but also to the pervading misogyny in hip hop music and culture more broadly. Not only is this behavior excused and accepted, it also makes navigating the industry exceedingly difficult for women like Peep One who are trying to make a career in music.
“Hip hop has always had a serious problem with the female gender. Most of the time women are viewed solely as a visual accessory or sexual object. This is nothing new, right? I mean, how long has it been since Dr. Dre assaulted Dee Barnes? And the list of incidents in recent memory goes on, including Famous Dex, Ian Connor, Kodak Black and let’s not forget Chris Brown, who managed to get off or get over in the court of public opinion, becoming a worldwide icon again thanks to people’s short memories and attention span not to mention their willingness to overlook violence against women.”
Check out Dr. Dre being “rough on the ladies” in his song “Bitches ain’t shit” below:
“Bitches ain’t shit” is only one example of the many songs where male hip hop artists have expressed aggressive sexual and physical violence toward women. Some prominent highlights also include:“Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew, “Big Pimpin” by Jay-Z f/ UGK, “One More Chance” by The Notorious B.I.G., “Slob on my Knob” by Three 6 Mafia, “Wait (The Whisper Song)” by The Ying Yang Twins, “Who knew” by Eminem, “Culo” by Pitbull, and, “Bitch Suck Dick” by Tyler, The Creator f/ Jasper, Taco.
All of these artists have been, and continue to be, hugely successful in the hip hop industry, largely because of a die hard fan base that defends them no matter what. And because American society normalizes misogyny and violence against women, especially in pop culture and music, many fans keep listening and push push past the lyrics to hear only the beat. But, as Peep One says, it doesn’t mean those messages don’t enter our subconscious — they truly do creep in like second hand smoke.