Bell hooks and music Essay

This essay has a total of 2114 words and 10 pages.

bell hooks and music

In reading bell hooks' opinion about sexism and misogyny I had to admit to myself that I
had no idea what she meant by sexism and misogyny. So, to accurately know what she was
referring to, I looked them up on the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. For the word
sexism, I found there were two meanings that support hooks' ideas: 1: prejudice or
discrimination based on sex; especially: discrimination against women and 2: behavior,
conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. The word
misogyny, according to Merriam-Webster, is: a hatred of women. With these definitions, I
feel that both words with their meanings truly expose what bell hooks is telling us what
Americans, and it seems she talks about the black male Americans, think of the black
female culture.

In ‘Gangsta Culture…' bell hooks tells us that the ‘patriarchal ways of
thinking…are glorified in gangsta rap' (116) and I think she's right. Although I do not
think she is right in all that she says in this narrative. She also says that ‘young
black males are forced to take the heat for encouraging via their music the hatred of and
violence against women…' (116), and this I do not believe it completely true. She
believes that the black men of America have taken themselves to a new degree in order to
make themselves ‘higher' than black women - she believes that the black men should be
equal to the black women and that the men should believe that as well. She talks about
Calvin Broadus a.k.a. Snoop Doggy Dog (which he later changed to the current title
‘Snoop Dogg') and his album Doggystyle. She tells us that the cover is degrading toward
black women, which it is, but not just to black women, to all women.

bell hooks shows us that black male sexism is real and it is in America's music. She is
correct, but it is not just against the white people of America. Snoop Dogg's album is
degrading toward the girl whose butt's out of the doghouse, but it

was her choice for one; and for two, it's not just black women he's degrading on the
cover. hooks is just placing blame on Snoop's cover, but she doesn't say much about his
music, this is where the music of the gangsta culture comes to play.

In 1993, Snoop ‘Doggy' Dogg put out an album entitled Doggystyle, and its front portrait
is describing a form of male dominance toward the woman society and one of the dog's is
saying ‘Nuttin but Da Dogg in Me', it's not what Snoop sang about. People, mainly hooks,
put Snoop and others down for the pictures or actions toward women; except she has one
problem, in my eyes, his music doesn't back up his cover. Since 1993, Snoop Dogg has made
a number of albums including Top Dogg and Paid Tha Cost to Be Da Bo$$. These albums show
how much Snoop has grown as an artist. (I am not condoning his behavior toward women,
whether it be on his covers or at the music awards this last year, but I am excusing it
because his music seems to say something different than his ‘P.I.M.P.' exterior.) In his
album Doggystyle, Snoop has a song called Gz Up Hoes Down, and his lyrics are as followed:

Well, all the real Gz please stand up and
let all be accounted for, and if you don't give a f***
about a b****, then you're rolling with the row
Hell yeah, YaknowhatI'msayin?
This is stricly for the Gz, yeah
F*** that b****
Niggaz alwayz be handcuffin that hoe
when a nigga like me steps in the place
I don't want that hoe, I don't love that hoe
I'm caught up with my greens: collard greens, indo, and the cash flow
Gz up, Hoes Down" (

This is not the solitary song on this album, of course, but it is merely the ONE song that
is even remotely demeaning toward women. Calling any girl a ‘hoe' is wrong, in my
opinion, but saying ‘hoes down' is erroneous because of what he is saying (that the
girls go down).

As Snoop matures as an artist and rapper, he makes better albums. His 1991 hit record Top
Dogg has many songs that are controversial. Take G Bedtime Stories for example; Snoop
writes about a bedtime story full of hot days, shootings and thugs. Not a story I would
tell my little, for sure, but it was a big hit for Snoop. Another slightly more shameful
song from the Top Dogg record is B**** Please. In this song, Snoop calls women degrading
names. Being a female, if someone were to call me these names, and they have, I would feel
hurt and not want to be civil about what was said or done next. Also, Snoop seems to
express his feelings toward drugs. In the years that this song was written, Snoop was into
drugs, mainly marijuana, and I feel he expresses how much he loved it. He tells the
‘girl' to get down on their knees, which signifies some sexual wants and tells them to
beg for weed. Because of this, these lyrics are a little more of what hooks thinks of
Snoop Dogg's music is about:

"Chorus two: [xzibit]
(Yeah nigga you know what's happenin man)
I get this pussy everywhere that I go
(These b****es know what time it is)
Ask the b****es in your hood cause they know
(Hell yeah, hoes know about a nigga like me MAN)
I get the pussy everywhere that I go
(I pimp these hoes, nigga, ha ha)
Ask the b****es in your hood cause they know
[Snoop Dogg]
B**** please, get down on your g**d*** knees
For this money chronic clothes and weed (look)
You f***in with some real O.G's
B**** please
B**** please, get down on your motherf***in knees
We came to get the motherf***in G's
Yeah, you f***in' with some real O.G's
You dick-tease!" (

From the third song, B**** Please, to the fifteenth song, I Love My Momma, I read a
difference in the music toward women, in particular, his mother. I feel that the misogyny
against women, or his ‘girls', are words of hatred. I do not know Snoop Dogg personally,
but I do know that he has a wife and two children. I don't know of any woman who would
marry a man who called her a b**** all the time, but he seems to call all other women
these names when he raps in his songs. Maybe he feels that the women he is singing about
are less than he is, but then he knows that his ‘momma' is more than just some woman.
She is his mother who has done everything she could for him. He knows that she is the best
woman from his past, and as he should, he pays his respects in these words to his
‘momma', which are as follows:

Continues for 5 more pages >>