Rap Culture Doesn’t Have to be Rape Culture


Courtesy Tribune News Service

Murdered rapper Tupac Shakur, back in better days for him and for rap in general.

Travis Davis, Staff Reporter

Musicians have always been able to influence their listeners. Remember when Eazy-E started wearing Snapbacks? How about Diana Ross, lead singer of the Supremes, with her big hair, big diamonds and plenty of sass? Or my favorite, Tupac Shakur with his backwards bandanas?  (Back to him in a minute.) While not all musicians have a message, even pop entertainment has always been able to influence those that listen. Whether it be through trends or words–or even rape culture.

Rape culture is when society normalizes rape in anything from the media to how the police treat rape victims. Some of the music we listen to promote rape culture whether or not the artists know it (though I’m sure some do). Now, you’re probably thinking, “Why should I care?” Well, maybe because this is something society is saying it is OK to do, when people pay money to hear a guy straight up giving tips on how to rape women? On one hand, they’re basically telling women not to get raped, but how the heck are we supposed to prevent that from happening when popular music considers it to be normal?

To be specific about the topic, let’s analyze some lyrics.

The song “U.O.E.N.O.” by Rocko, featuring Future and Rick Ross is a song that proves that rape culture is alive and well in music. “UOENO” is the ignorant slang term for “You don’t even know”. [Is that even allowed?!] What the song is about is something you’ll have to determine for yourself (if you manage 20 seconds listening to the mumbling). But what it’s known for is the date rape line.

Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it

I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it

OKAY. So what Rick Ross was basically saying in this line is that he slipped her drugs and took her home, then proceeded to rape her. This line right here shows that rape culture is thriving in music people listen to today. The song held the 20th spot on the charts for months so obviously millions of people heard this line but has anyone brought it to attention? The one person that comes to mind that brought attention to something like this was none other than Tupac Shakur.

In his song “Keep Ya Head Up”, he addresses rape in the following way.

And since we all came from a woman

Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman

I wonder why we take from our women

Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?

I think it’s time to kill for our women

Time to heal our women, be real to our women

I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up

These lyrics should be an eye-opener to rape and rape culture. Rape culture is not something that should be taken lightly. It needs to be addressed before it gets even more out of hand. Who knows if we’ll be able to come back from something like this, but take this in consideration. If we begin to live in a world where rape, of all things, is okay, what’s the next crime we are going to allow entertainers to glorify?