Carol Borges, blogging at KnoxViews, has an interesting piece about the possible racism in damning the violence and misogyny in hip hop music when "white" music has many references to similar actions and attitudes. She listed a few songs to make her point. I hadn't really considered the issue this way before. Though not much of a hip hop fan over all, I do listen to a few groups and tend to steer away from a lot of gangsta rap as well as the more overtly sexual groups. For me it's more some quality I see in the groups I do enjoy versus the content of their songs.
Celebrating the misogyny as well as the bling culture that so much of hip hop seems to have devolved into is more damaging I feel. To some extent, the more violent music, at least at one time, could have been argued to open a window onto the reality of life for too many people, but at some point even that rings a little hollow when you wonder why so many artists can get rich at the expense of the suffering and yet the gangs still continue to hurt people and make neighborhoods unlivable. What good is the money when all the community sees is gaudy diamond encrusted watches and necklaces? Of course there I seem to hold black artists somehow responsible. If we are to suggest this, then why not also suggest that country artists are responsible for rural communities?
I grew up in Atlanta, in south Dekalb County. We attended church and school in an area that would have been considered white at the time, though south Dekalb is and was decidedly not. On some level I've always had an interest in issues of race and equality. It seems like it's always questions and never enough answers.