I love soul music and I love hip hop, but I don’t love sexism. Lately, the extreme nature of the misogyny in rap music has many of us longing for the good old days. In today’s era where young men write songs about raping and killing women, it is easy to think that what went before was so much better.
This is not to excuse or minimize the effect of such viciousness being openly expressed toward women in contemporary music. However, the good old days weren’t so great in many ways.
I greet today’s rap music with a vigilant antenna, on the alert for sexist lyrics. But as a young girl, listening to soul music of the 60s and 70s (and 80s) I hadn’t yet developed these filters. I just took it all in: catchy melodies, beautiful male voices and harmonies, tight horn lines. And, sometimes, lyrics of male domination.
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