Hip-hop Hurts

While scanning through Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006,
Elizabeth Mendez Berry’s “Love Hurts” (PDF format) caught my attention with her clever introduction: “Before going to sleep, many little girls pray for a new Barbie, an Xbox game, or a trip to Disney World. At age 7, Vanessa Rios asked only that “Papi would stop hitting Mami.”

Papi is no other than the late rapper Big Pun who whipped the shit out of his wife with a lead pipe just because she forgot to change his beeper’s battery. I never had much respect for Pun as a rapper, and now I have none for the dead man. Berry then chronicles various domestic violence against women among rappers including Biggie, Dre and Busta. Like I said, I enjoy rap’s vivid lyrics, but that’s just on-the-mic bullshitting, and didn’t expect these misogynists actually stayed true to their words in real life. As much respect as I have for Biggie as a lyricist, I despise his cruelty toward women. He used to say, “More money, more problems.” More money comes more power. And more power, more bitches to slap. His murder case still remains unsolved, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was gunned down by a woman.

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