Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver are set to release a new video for their song titled “Monster”. The video shows images of women hanging in chains dead, dead on a table while Rick Ross dines on a plate of red meat and other degrading scenes. The song includes lyrics like “I kill a block I murder avenues Rape and pillage a village, women and children” and “I put the p-ssy in a sarcophagus Now she claiming I bruise her esophagus”
Its no secret that hip hop has had its problems with promoting healthy attitudes towards women. It has certainly and at times deservedly taken its share of heat for the attitudes which objectify and degrade women. It makes me somewhat sad since it is the music I grew up on. I have watched misogynistic attitudes permeate gradually and at times dominantly spread through the music and culture. As my love and respect for the women in my life has grown so has my distance from hip hop music and culture which I grew up loving so much.
Its certainly not all bad. I have seen people like Damon Dash through the use of his gallery, step up to promote healthier attitudes towards women and help to bring an end to violence against women. Others have also stepped up to address the issue of misogyny in hip hop. There is at least a dialogue today.
I’m no conservative. I certainly listen to music at times that contains language that would be considered foul or offensive to some people. I feel though there’s a very clear line between screaming out an obscenity because life has you frustrated and glorifying the murder and rape of women even if only for entertainment purposes.
Just watching the short 30 second preview of this video and the behind the scenes footage leads me to believe that Kanye, Jay-Z, and Rick Ross want you to think of them as ‘monsters’ who kill women. I’m sure they believe, and perhaps deservedly so, that it will sell albums.
I don’t understand why Nicki Minaj a female rapper would be a part of something like this. I am also puzzled by Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon’s participation in this. His folk albums Blood Bank & For Emma, Forever Ago have been a favorites of mine for some time now and I see nothing in his work that anyone would find offensive, certainly not degrading of women.
Music has a profound ability to affect and influence people. Most especially young people. Musicians have a responsibility for the attitudes they help to promote. Are we naive enough to think these attitudes aren’t contributing factors behind the high levels of rape and domestic abuse today? Is it so far out there to believe that the attitudes portrayed in videos such as this breed generations of young men who objectify women? Is it inconceivable that these attitudes and images also lead to low self esteem in women? How long are musicians going to go on making money off of unhealthy attitudes towards women? How long are people going to go on supporting them? Will you stand by and keep watching this go on?
Its time people start speaking out against attitudes in music that are damaging to women. Get involved sign the petition to help stop the release of this video.
(Update) Since the time of this posting the videos have been removed.