This article argues that the tendency in rap music to depict women as accessories and sexual servants is the partial result of a widespread attitude that women have better prospects for earning a legitimate wage than their male counterparts. The effort to devalue women - and, by extension, female labor - leads avowedly heteronormative rappers to displace intimacy onto feminized arenas, like 'the game' or 'the Streets'. This is one way of coping with a general sense of disappointedness that inheres in the tortured sense of masculinity whose contours I tentatively sketch here. This article closes by pinpointing one reason for this preoccupation with death, fascination with 'bling', and denigration of women: the experience of 'surplus time' - the sense that, according to perceived life expectancies, these rappers should already be dead. In theorizing this predicament, I explore some social consequences of the belief these rappers have more time available than they had anticipated.
- Hip hop
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)