Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Misogyny and Hip Hop

Today in Hip Hop we will get deeper into the really explicit lyrics.  Not something we normally do.  Much of this assignment is taken from the PBS Guide from Beyond the Beats.

I keep all of our class notes in an Evernote folder that the class shares.  Here is the assignment note:


This is the final day for this unit.  Our test will be on Friday.  Your test will include one summary essay (see below) and answers from the previous three classes.

Once again please put all of your answers in your evernote answer note.  Be sure to draw a line between Day 3 and Day 4 work.

Take the time to read Wikipedia's entry on misogyny in hip hop culture.

1. Watch the video for Pimp Juice by Nelly.  Reference the lyrics using this link.  I choose not to show you the video from Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't S..t".  You can reference the lyrics from The Chronic here.  These lyrics are clearly offensive and we include them to make the comparative analysis.  Nelly's lyrics are perhaps less explicit, but may be as offensive.

2. Watch the video for Queen Latifah U.N.I.T.Y.  Reference the lyrics using this link
  • Is this song is a response to Dr. Dre?
  • How does Queen Latifah combat the misogyny in hip hop lyrics?  
3. Need to clear your head after all these lyrics?  Watch the Muppets sing Danny Boy.

4. Analyze the Dr. Dre track using the following guide questions (choose two questions to answer):
• In the first verse, Dr. Dre refers to his former partner, Eazy E, as a woman. What is his point?
• In the second verse, Snoop Dogg describes an episode that ends in him exacting violence against a woman. What is his justification for that act of violence?
• Jewell, a female rapper, raps the last verse. How does she position herself toward other women and
toward men?
• How does this song relate to Michael Eric Dyson’s analysis in the film that men bond with each other by using sex and their domination of women “at the expense of their heterosexual alliances with women”?

5. Analyze the Queen Latifah song using the following guide questions (choose two questions to answer):
• What is the hook? Is it catchy? What is the message of the hook?
• In the first verse, whom is Queen Latifah addressing? What is her message to them?
• In the last verse, Queen Latifah speaks directly to women. What is her message to them?
• This song was very popular when it came out. Would a song like this be equally appealing and commercially viable now? Why or why not?

6. Read about Dr. Dre in the news.   Dr. Dre has clearly been very successful.  


Want a head start on your main essay question for the test on Friday?

Assignment: Compare and Contrast Essay
Write an essay comparing the lyrics and messages of the Dr. Dre and Queen Latifah songs or two songs of your choice that represent perspectives on women similar to the Dr. Dre and Queen Latifah songs. You should include specific lines as examples and present an opinion on how the songs impact listeners and consumers.