Rox: Hip-hop’s obsessionWritten by Martini Rox | | email@example.com
Hip-hop odes to derrières have reached an all-time high. There is so much going on in the world you would think the top stories would not be overshadowed by “confetti reports.” I was wrong, after all this is America. This week Nicki Minaj smashed Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” Vevo record with more than 39 million (and counting) views of her latest video, “Anaconda.” The song samples Sir Mix A Lot’s, “Baby Got Back” and the video features Nicki and friends popping glutes like bubbles. It’s catchy and will undoubtedly be as annoying and infectious as other ’90s classics like Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” and Juvenile’s “Back That Thang Up.”
In the ’90s no one could escape the growing obsession as it eventually spilled over into the otherwise “conscious rapper” territory with A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum” and Mos Def’s “Miss Fat Booty.” I could go on naming songs, but I would literally be running down a booty playlist. Mainstream media would love to believe that Miley Cyrus is responsible for twerking, but that dance goes back decades. Pop culture has become equally obsessed after Jennifer Lopez hit the scene and it continued with Kim Kardashian.
Hip-hop has played a major part in glorifying a woman’s hind assets to the point where legal and illegal injections have become common practice. Artists like Iggy Azalia are manufactured, injected (allegedly) and marketed by men in hip-hop to further push the celebration/obsession of butts. I often wonder, how far will this go? But I have been asking myself that same question since junior high. A series of exercises and padding are featured on nightly infomercials informing women about how to achieve the bum of their dreams.
If you listen to any hip-hop and some top 40 radio stations, within minutes you will hear a song about big butts. If you walk into a night club the party would not be official if the DJ didn’t play a series of hits geared toward or openly talking about a woman’s butt.
What is more puzzling is the fact that it is women who request the songs! I don’t know if it is conditioning or brainwashing or both. It does make me question if this is the only music that will go viral or chart. Will any other subject matter have the opportunity to become a mega hit?
Mainstream urban/pop music has a responsibility to its listeners to provide more. In this time of racial unrest all over the world it is imperative that even our commercial music should invoke questions and change.
I hear about propaganda perpetuating fear in the images we see in the media, but I hear it in the music. Dumbing down a generation by refusing to commercially promote songs with real content. Social movement music such as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” Yes, he also made “Sexual Healing,” but that’s all a part of artistic range and balance. Michael Jackson’s “Man in The Mirror,” “Earth Song,” “Black or White,” are just a few of the songs he made to create a musical catalog with artistic balance.
The hip-hop community wants change in the way it is seen and perceived and part of me believes it has to start with the music we choose to make hits. We all have been conditioned to love these catchy tunes with infectious beats without paying attention to the words. Pharrell’s “Happy” showed us what the same formula can do with a great message. I encourage artists to find depth in your music and to be inspired globally.
There is a whole world out there beyond the derrière.
As we continue on…