This documentary takes an interesting look at hip-hop culture and its depictions of masculinity, violence and women in songs and music videos. I thought it was surprising that Hurt (the commentator and director) was a self-proclaimed lover of hip-hop yet he had come to understand how the music can be offensive to women and influence young people to act in certain negative ways.
Watching the clips of music videos always makes me frustrated because of how the women are depicted. It also tends to confuse me because I would never agree to participate in a video like the ones shown in the video and do not understand why people would. However, that being said, some women might think that it will give them some type of prestige and they could also be doing it because they need money. Our society depicts women in this way frequently so they may not realize the implications it has for other women as well. The same points could be said for the rappers in this video but simply saying that they shouldn’t participate is too simple and we need to look at why it occurs in the first place.
The part of the movie I found to be particularly interesting was when they discussed how most of the individuals who control the record industry are white males. While I might have known this before watching the video, I don’t think I ever really thought about how this may affect the way that black male rappers are portrayed. Black males are portrayed in a very stereotypical way in videos and I hadn’t thought about how it might be due to racist perceptions from record executives that influence this portrayal. It also could be a way for those in power to perpetuate negative stereotypes.
Another part of the movie that I enjoyed was that the women of Spelman College would not stand for the way women were portrayed in Nelly’s video “Tip Drill”. I thought it was great that the women stood together on the issue and would not allow Nelly to come to campus unless he would speak with them about the video. While he wouldn’t address their concerns, it is good that they made the attempt to address something they didn’t like.