Domestic Violence Illustrated in Hip Hop Videos

As an avid listener of hip hop and rap, I am pretty familiar with the different types of vulgar statements and crude comments towards opposites sexes. Most hip hop and rap songs are about sex, love, money, drugs, and other things paired with catchy, head bopping beats. I don’t really watch the music videos to the songs I listen to, but as I was writing my last blog, I was decided to listen to a song by a rapper I have been listening to named Kevin Gates on youtube. Kevin Gates is a 28 year old rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is pretty much an up and coming rapper, and he was named to the 2014 XXL Freshman Class- among the rest of the top new rappers and artists who have bright futures ahead of them. I was really in the mood to hear a song of his called Satellites, and to understand why the song is called Satellites I had to do a little thinking beyond the lyrics. I thought, what would being torn between his girl and his hustle have anything to do with a satellite. Well, being that a satellite is an outside object controlled by something it once was attached to, Kevin Gates is being controlled by his hustle because he depends on it, but his girl wants him to stay home with her.

I decided to take a little break in my writing to decompress myself and I watched the music video. As the music video progressed, the situation between Kevin Gates and his girl worsened as he got deeper and deeper into his hustle. My reason for writing this post is because of one particular scene where he wakes up in the middle of the night, when he gets a call from a client in need of whatever it is that he deals. He wasn’t going to deny easy money, as any successful hustler would tell you, and he went to get up from bed and do his business. However, his girl woke up in this process and she was visibly upset. The expression on Kevin Gates face said that he was tired of her trying to control him and tell him what to do, and he looked frustrated. As she gets up to make him stay, he grabs her and throws her rather forcefully back onto the bed. As he gets ready to walk out the door, the negative physical contact between the two continues. As soon as I saw this, the idea of domestic violence came popped straight into my head. Although no one was really hurt during this little altercation, what makes it okay for a rapper playing himself in a music video to grab a girl forcefully by the shoulders, shake her, and then throw her onto the bed? I am very sure that kids younger than I have seen this music video, and what if they see it and think that it is okay? Have a look, skip to about 1:35

My mind started going into gender studies mode, and I started to wonder if maybe domestic violence was a pattern in his music videos. Just like I had thought, domestic violence is depicted yet again in his music video for a song called ‘Posed To Be In Love. In this song, he raps about the girl he is supposed to be in love with, although they broke up, and how she she left him to be in the terrible relationship she is in now. When his ex girl comes home late at night, her new boyfriend is up drunkenly waiting for her, and when he sees her, he gets mad and beats her. She is seen thereafter in the bathroom crying with a big bruise on her face. Is Kevin Gates trying to show us something here? We all know that beating a woman is bad, and is a cowardly thing to do as a man. Instead of hiding from it, Kevin Gates is not afraid to show that domestic violence exists in everyday relationships. I personally feel a little bit uncomfortable watching a woman being beaten, so I wouldn’t want someone younger than me to watch a music video like this one. What do you guys think? Possibly he grew up in a situation like this one in a rough childhood in New Orleans. Do you think it is okay to broadcast such actions when he knows possibly millions of people will see the video? Let me know! Here’s a link to the video by the way, skip to about 1:20!

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4 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Illustrated in Hip Hop Videos

  1. I think it’s so odd that there are examples of rappers who, in their raps, are extremely disrespectful to women and just degrade them. And then on the other hand you have the rappers (maybe even the same rappers that degrade women) talking about how much they care about their mothers and how without their mother, they would not be where they are today. Some rappers even say how they would never treat a lady wrong. So maybe it’s just the way Kevin Gates and other rappers were raised. But you’d think if they have mothers, aunts, or sisters, that they would be more respectful in their lyrics..

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  2. I think that this is very prevalent in this culture and the visual representation of hip hop does in fact include many of these references to domestic violence. I think it is somehwat freedom of expression but should be stopped and the lyrics should also be monitored.

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  3. I think that showing domestic violence in music videos is necessary and should be tolerated because usually, that is what the songs are about. It is the sad truth. Not only are the songs written about such deep things on very personal levels, but these things need to be known that they do happen. I think that yes it is sad that he grew up with a rough childhood, but the music video is intended to teach a lesson and not to influence this behavior. I think that music videos portraying domestic violence are important in making people aware that it does happen.

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  4. Very interesting to read!
    I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to look at my blog and comment on any thoughts or feelings you may have on various issues regarding domestic violence. It is part of my University degree so I would really appreciate the support, thanks!

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