Sexual politics of hip hop (abridged)
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Sexual politics of hip hop (abridged)



Abridged version of the slides of a talk on the intersection of feminism, hip hop and science (sexual selection). ...

Abridged version of the slides of a talk on the intersection of feminism, hip hop and science (sexual selection).
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  • Photo credit:Twerk Team Fan Po (Official Twerkers Got Swag)In the early days of rap and hip hop it was regarded as alternative– only heard in dance clubs, played by late night disc jockets. Many R&B and urban contemporary radio stations refused to play rap songs or R&B songs with short rap tracks in the 80s and 90s
  • Now hip hop, which includes rap music is not only a full music genre – it’s a multi-billion dollar industry, influencing art, fashion, and pop culture.From Wikipedia:four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, B-boying and graffiti Hip hop is simultaneously a new and old phenomenon; the importance of sampling to the art form means that much of the culture has revolved around the idea of updating classic recordings, attitudes, and experiences for modern audiences - called "flipping" within the culture.
  • hip hop has given a voice to the voiceless and poverty-stricken worldwide, particularly in inner cities and neighborhoods suffering from urban blight, and showcased their artistic ingenuity and talent on a global scale. At its worst,[citation needed] hip hop has mirrored the worst aspects of the mainstream culture that it once challenged: materialism, sexism, an internalized racism and an antipathy towards intellectualism.I remix this science lectureSo, I use hip hop culture: the good, the bad, and the ugly as my background track to teach evolutionary biology
  • Natural Selection is the differential success of individuals. Success is survival and reproduction.In natural selection, traits are shaped by environmental, biological or physiological agents (Andersson 1994).In sexual selection, traits are shaped by sexual rivals and mates (Andersson 1994).Often times these selective forces can act in ways contrary to Natural selection.Sexual Selection is the difference in reproductive success of individuals based on competition for mates AND the expression of TRAITS that give those individuals an advantage.
  • by intimidating, deterring or defeating same-sex rivals (intrasexual selection, within a given sex).by making themselves attractive to the opposite sex (intersexual selection, between the sexes)
  • T.I. Whatever you like – clean official video
  • Lauren Hill – That Thing – official video is there conflict:Male RS increases by gaining more mates, whereasFemale RS increases with gainer greater or exclusive access to a male and/or his resources (food, shelter, protection).
  • This tug of war of mate choice and sexual conflict shapes animal behavior and results in a pageant of reproductive behaviors across the animal kingdomWhich includes courtship patterns, mating strategies and tactics and parental care behaviors.
  • Hip hop music that is popular today is very sexist and male biased.  And it the images in videos and the lyrics are Hyper sexualized and promotes tolerance of sexual assault and other unwelcomed sexual advances, idolizing strippers and video vixens, tolerance of insulting language taking a look at Sex, Dating, and Relationships as depicted in popular culture and hip hop music and pointing out how examples of evolutionary biology principles at play.
  • Monogamy, Bi-parental care, Paternal care, provision, fidelity, reproductive successMale-female are coupled, share a territory, provision each other and young - all of this is expressed in Method Man’s song.Fabolus “I Can’t Let You Go”
  • Mary J Blige w/ Lil Kim I Can Love You
  • Facial beauty, breasts, hip-waist ration are sexually selected traits."Birthday Song" by 2 Chainz with Kanye West West - Gold Digger ft. Jamie Foxx
  • Sybil A Streeter, Donald H McBurney (2002). Waist–hip ratio and attractiveness: New evidence and a critique of “a critical test” Evolution and Human Behavior, 24 (2), 88-98 : 10.1016/S1090-5138(02)00121-6Waist hip ratio credit ratio is an indicator of health – shows female not malnourished; fat deposits on belly less healthy than fat deposits on hips.Plus, picking someone with these traits beneficial but the desire to pick someone with those traits is itself beneficial. If I find an indicator of fertility attractive I will be more likely to pick a fertile mate. I win
  • Project Pat - Chickenhead (HD) (Feat. La' Chat, DJ Paul & Juicy J) - I Got That Fire ft. Mannie Fresh
  • Birthday Song – Kanye West’s verseChop My Money by P-Square - Chop My Money Ft. Akon, May D
  • “evolutionary science remixed with phat beats.”

Sexual politics of hip hop (abridged) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Birds, the Bees and the Beats:Sexual Politics of Hip Hop Reexamined as Lessons in Sexual Selection Danielle N. Lee Oklahoma State University Laura C. Harris Symposium "Sex, Science and Society” Denison University Granville, Ohio
  • 2. What is Hip Hop?
  • 3. What Hip Hop has become
  • 4. Sexual Selection
  • 5. Sexual Selection• Intrasexual Selection – by intimidating, deterring or defeating same-sex rivals (intrasexual selection, within a given sex).• Intersexual Selection – by making themselves attractive to the opposite sex (intersexual selection, between the sexes)
  • 6. Intrasexual Selection Males Females• Status • Youth• Power • Health• Wealth • AvailabilityResource Holding Potential Nubilitythe ability of an animal to win sexually attractive youngan all-out fight if one were to female, suitable for matingtake place with high reproductive capacityTI: Whatever You Like
  • 7. Intersexual Selection Mate Choice Sexual Conflict• Mate selection depends on • Males and females prefer attractiveness of its traits different reproductive• Traits related to Resource strategies to reach optimal Holding Potential & Nubility fitness • Strategies include frequency of mating frequency and parental careLauren Hill: That Thing
  • 8. Key concepts of Sexual Selection• Intrasexual Selection• Resource Holding Potential• Nubility• Intersexual Selection• Mate Choice• Sexual Conflict
  • 9. Key themes of Hip Hop• Intrasexual Selection Throwing Shade on Lames• Resource Holding Potential Men Making Stacks• Nubility Women with Banging Bodies• Intersexual Selection Hooking Up• Mate Choice Choosing• Sexual Conflict Running Game
  • 10. Feminine Archetypes of Hip Hop Main Chicks Bad Bitches Side Chicks Ugly Hoes
  • 11. Main Chicks• Wife, Wifey, Girlfriend• Pair-bonded femaleMonogamyEach individual has a single partnerPolygynySome males mate with more than one femaleMethod Man & Mary J. Blige: You’re All I Need to Get By/I’ll Be There for YouFabolous: I Can’t Let You Go
  • 12. Polygyny Threshold Model Image credit:
  • 13. Side Chicks• Side piece, Boo ThangPolygyny• Jump offs, SmashersPromiscuity/PolygynandrySome males and some females will have severalmatesMary J. Blige & Lil Kim: I Can Love YouBig Pun & Joe: Still Not a Player
  • 14. Bad Bitches• Dimes, Dime Piece, Stallion, ThoroughbredHip-to-waist ratioRatio of circumference of the hips to the waistIndicator of reproductive condition (andattraction)2 Chainz & Kanye West: Birthday SongKanye West: Golddigger
  • 15. Streeter & McBurney. 2002. Evol Human Behav
  • 16. Ugly Hoes• Bust downs, Hood rats, BeastRejectionEither or both parties do not choose oneanotherProject Pat, La Chat, DJ Paul & Juicy J: ChickenheadJuvenile: I Got That Fire
  • 17. Mindful of the Misogyny• Hip hop is macho-centered• Today’s most popular songs objectify women• All ages have unfettered access to adult- themed songs• These themes are more popular around the world2 Chainz & Kanye West: Birthday SongP Square: Chop My Money
  • 18. Evolutionary Science Remixed with Phat Beats