Monday, April 27, 2009


Trigger Warning

I'll begin the post with the assumption that we know that within the world of hip-hop,
Much of the music and many videos specifically transmit, promote, and perpetuate negative images of black women. All women, but mostly black women in particular are seen in popular hip-hop culture as sex objects.
Discussions of misogyny and sexism in hip hop began at least two decades ago and continue until now. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brooklyne Gipson had recent discussions and Feminist Review just reviewed Ewuare X. Osayande's Misogyny and the Emcee: Sex, Race, and Hip-Hop. You can also find Byron Hurt's Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes on Google Video.

I list those sources because what I want to do, rather than rehash the arguments, is point you to what is a rather disturbing song and video by Mike Jones called Scandalous Hoes. And while you might think the name of the song alone was enough, I'd like to point out that since the days of Bitches Ain't Shit, hip-hop song titles have done much to inure us "shocking" titles.

Mike Jones begins as many of these songs do--by invoking the hybrid Jezebel/Gold-digger* image. He scowls as he looks at the men in the video, being duped by women who are all sex and smiles, trying to lure the men into a (largely financial) relationship. Jones describes:
They see you living twelve cars, all black
American Express, not green, all black
They'll try to set you up
If you let 'em set the trap
I ain't finna fall for that
T-Pain, who guests on the song, adds his own warning:
I don't love 'em
Still don't trust 'em
Get paranoid
Every time that I fuck 'em
As the video proceeds, we see that one poor guy has bought one of the women a car and committed to her. Then, Mike Jones channels Kanye West and raps about the tired cliche of women "tricking" men into getting them pregnant, the result being
Now she got yo ass up in court
Facing child support
For a kid he found out
Wasn't his
And like Kanye, Jones reminds us that because these women are "scandalous hoes," they transgress in serious ways--first, they sleep with other men, despite the fact that a man has made a down payment on her sexuality with his money and his gifts. And then, they continue manipulating a man's feelings, first, by making him love her, then by erroneously telling him he's her child's father. After all, Jones says of the father-child bond in such cases,
You're glued to his soul
Your heart say
You can't leave that kid
Scandalous bitch
But here's where the video becomes like nothing I've seen. We see the "not-the-father" on the couch reading papers--ostensibly, the DNA results--and crying. He's seeing the light about his girlfriend (who had already morphed from a somewhat sweet and smiling Jezebel into a frowning, fussing Sapphire) and once she has been revealed as a scandalous ho, she must be dealt with.


Well, in his righteous anger, the boyfriend understandably kills her:
Some shit is just so so wrong
Some shit I know I can't put up in the zone
Some shit'll get you hurt if it go on too long
Cuz once the nigga gets pissed,
the gun goes click


You shoulda told him, bitch
Before it came time for this
Now the ho getting carried by six
So enraged man kills woman because he finds out his property (her vagina and child) has been trespassed upon.

And it all makes perfect sense.

*Description begins on page 15

1 comment:

Hagar's Daughter said...


after i compose myself and my thoughts i'll come back. i have no words...

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...