Friday, January 11, 2008

Hip Hop: Masculinity, Power, and Dominance

In "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes", filmmaker Byron Hurt takes an in-Depth look at manhood, sexism and homophobia in rap music and hip-hop culture; the program features interviews with Mos Def, Chuck D, Busta Rhymes and Russell Simmons.
"Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" is a personal and heartfelt documentary that goes beyond the bling to explore gender roles in hip-hop and rap music through the lens of filmmaker Byron Hurt, a former college quarterback-turned-activist.

Reflection Questions
(include the questions in the phrasing of your answer but do not restate the question itself!)

How does the genre of hip hop reinforce stereotypes of masculinity in today's society? (Consider lyrics, images, behaviours, and attitudes)

Producer Russell Simmons says that the poetry reflects society. Therefore, his message is that society is the issue, not the music. Do you agree with this comment? Doesn't the music create and solidify behaviour as much as it reflects it?

Finally, can there be change in this media? If so, what changes need to be made and how can they reasonably, and realistically, be implemented. Does there even need to be change.

Do some real soul searching and, as always, use the media as your evidence - ALWAYS substantiate your claims, your ideas, and your suggestions for change. Explain yourself really well!

Helpful Links

PBS: Independent Lens

Rotten Tomato Review of the Film

Director Rips Hip Hop Sexism, Homophobia in New Documentary

Masculinity in Hip Hop