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Home > Culture and Society

Rapping in the Real World

11 August 2006

Rap music rarely provides the model for a lasting relationship based on mutual respect, as this lyric from 2 Live Crew suggests:

'Lick my ass up and down
Lick it 'til your tongue turns doo-doo brown.'

It's not the greatest offer, is it? Even if you're open-minded about rimming members of a long-forgotten, misogynistic gangsta rap band, there's a horrible juvenility about it. 'Doo-doo brown'? Maybe Fresh Kid Ice would also ask you to suck his 'winkie'.

But despite the obvious dismerits of a sex life based on rappers' wank fantasies, it appears that this is exactly what teenage girls want. This week a study was published that showed that teenagers who listen to 'songs with sexually explicit lyrics' are more likely to start having sex earlier than ones who listen to 'other types of music'. This is, of course, a reference to the dreaded 'rap' music. The idea, and it's not a new one, is that if you are a teenage girl you will, in order to gain acceptance and popularity, behave as teenage boys expect you to - and those teenage boys will have had their sexual expectations moulded by rap music. Ergo, you behave like a gang ho slut, or something.

The study claims that this definitely takes place, so we're not going to dispute that, but we would question the precise role of rap music. Teenage boys are obsessed with sex. They're also notoriously bad at proper relationships, i.e. sex is not a beautiful thing to cherish, it's something dead impressive to tell your mates about. In other words, they don't *really* need the assistance of rap music to try and wheedle sex out of teenage girls.

However, the study does highlight the appalling inability of right-thinking people to deal with anything negative about rap music. Like the previous accusations levelled at gangsta rap (it promotes gangs, guns and criminality, yawn), people just don't seem to know how to respond. The answer is surely to simply treat rap music with exactly the level of seriousness it deserves. Maybe we should point out to our impressionable youth some uncomfortable home truths about rap artists, i.e., some of them are knobs.

Take 50 Cent, arguably the most popular rapper of the moment. 'Fiddy', not the most talented rapper in history, is particularly inept when it comes to sex. Quite apart from the offer/threat to allow you to visit his 'candy shop', he really struggles when it comes to the act of love:

'Girl you know I like it when you climb on top
Love muscles feel tighter than a headlock.'

Yeah, when you come to think of it, sex *is* a bit like wrestling. It's like getting kissy with Hulk Hogan. Sadly, these are not the words of a particularly cool or impressive individual.

Likewise, has the usual line in incessant bloodthirsty threats so beloved of gangsta rappers, e.g. 'I'll have your mama picking out your casket, bastard'.

It's the superfluous 'bastard' that we love. And 50 is only *really* scary in a country where you practically get an automatic pistol free with your Happy Meal. If 50 was in the UK he wouldn't be allowed to own a weapon without good reason. 50's crew suddenly seem a good deal less threatening if their weapon of choice is a Webley air pistol. Ouch that smarts!

But maybe to take the idea to its logical conclusion we should actually get some rap artists into the UK's schools. Much as the Israeli Mossad kidnap their enemies and spirit them away for interrogation, we should get the SAS to kidnap rap stars and force them to go to secondary schools in the UK. 50 Cent may look pretty hard on his album covers, but we've got a feeling it might be a different story with a compass stuck in his leg.

And he may have been shot nine times, but we'd bet he'd start crying after a serious game of 'raps'.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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