The Danger of Discrediting “Strippers Rapping”

Posted CommentsPosted in culture, Features, Music

Salt-N-Pepa’s lyrics helped me learn to verbalize the concepts of sexual liberation, autonomy, and women’s ability to be sexual without losing their dignity. Their lyrics were a rebellious voice that challenged the sexism, respectability politics, and the confining and conservative interpretation of womanhood that was present in the church and culture around me.

“In Defense of R. Kelly…”

Posted CommentsPosted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Features, Music

While driving back from the beach Sunday afternoon, R. Kelly’s “Bump n’ Grind” came on a 90’s playlist. Carpool karaoke ended. An awkward silence fell throughout the car. And frowns appeared on our faces. “I just can’t listen to his music anymore.” “Because he’s an unapologetic sexual predator who sings about his sins,” I responded. […]

Outgrowing Homophobia: Hip Hop’s Long Journey Home

Posted CommentsPosted in Features, Music, Social Issues

Historically, hip hop has been unapologetically homophobic. From the genre’s inception, rap lyrics have used slurs to emasculate and feminization to belittle foes and rivals while threatening and celebrating violence against LGBTQ people. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five mention an incarcerated man who became an “undercover fag” in “The Message.” Will Smith, who became […]

Cam Newton: Dehumanization, Respectability Politics & Racial Double Standards

Posted CommentsPosted in Community, Features, Football

“What a sore loser!” “Some role model.” “Be professional!” “He won’t last in the NFL with that attitude.” “He has to grow up.” “The world doesn’t revolve around you, boy.” These are all statements made after Cam Newton, who appeared frustrated after the Carolina Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos and annoyed by reporters […]