Black Demons: The Media's Depiction of the African American Male Criminal Stereotype

By Dennis Rome | Go to book overview

6

Modern-Day “Blaxploitation”: Gangsta Rap and Its Perpetuation or the Black Demon Stereotype

I had a discussion with a few rappers a while back, and I asked them why they use so much profanity and are so misogynistic in their music.

“Rev, were like a mirror to society, ” one of the rappers said. “We are merely reflecting what we see.”

“Well, I don't know about you, but I use a mirror to correct what's wrong with me, ” I told them. “I don't look in the mirror to see my hair messed up and my teeth need brushing and just walk out of the house that way. I use the mirror to fix me.”

This hip-hop culture must use their music, their influence to correct what's wrong, not to continue to perpetuate what's wrong, not continue to promote what's wrong. They have the power to do that. And if they really want to have an impact on society, they must change their focus and show America the best of us instead of the worst.1

As discussed in chapter 2, historically, colonialist imperatives have chosen to deem those of African descent to be hypersexual and violent. This stereotype is upheld by the “gangsta's” railing against bitches and “hos, ” his glorification of violence, and his embrace of capitalist greed 2 —oftentimes simultaneously. 3 Rap began around 1975 when disc jockeys (DJs) brought turntables and soul and funk records to block parties, manipulating original music to create continuous

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