A lot of questions are being asked about hip hop these days.  Recently, Felicia Pride introduced Rap Sessions, a traveling panel and discussion event with the questioning title, Does Hip Hop Hate Women?

I don't know about hip hop as a whole but I do know that there's a lot of woman hating going on in rap music.

In the above video by Kanye West, a remix/parody of Rich Boy's song about getting new rims for his new Cadillac, Kanye humorously plays with the idea of upgrading various women with breast implants.  It's funny and it's catchy, yet it takes the commodification of women for granted to the degree that it's quite sick and hateful.

And hip hop's full of such things that both attract and repel, leading some of us to feel conflicted about our love of hip hop, especially when we find outselves drawn to music that has such objectionable elements.

In the coming week or so I'll be focusing on signs of life rather than signs of death in hip hop.  But I wanted to start off by saying that many of the problems in hip hop are quite obvious but what to do is not, that feeling conflicted is normal in such a situation, especially when one's concerns are dismissed out of hand by so many hip hop fans, and that those that can't understand or empathize with such feelings are not to be trusted when addressing serious concerns.

I don't claim to have the answers regarding social change within hip hop but I do think that coming together in dialogue with the intent of following through with action is inherently necessary and that includes projects like Rap Sessions.

Coming Soon: Hip Hop Signs of Life!