It’s a troubling reality that most rappers still have a thriving career. From their seemingly flagrant misogynistic behaviors to the sexist music they create, rappers get away with way too much because of fans who continue to support and glorify their careers.
With the passing of artist XXXTentacion, reactions from fans were seemingly heartfelt. Tweets about the artist’s career suggest he left behind an exceptional collection of music. But XXXTentacion does not deserve the admiration he is still receiving, no matter how good or appealing his music was. The gruesome things he did in his personal life far outweigh anything produced in his professional career.
In a testimony obtained by Pitchfork, XXXTentacion’s ex-girlfriend said he threatened her life multiple times, and in one incident he threatened to put a “barbecue cleaner” and a “barbecue fork” into her vagina. According to Vulture, “…he threatened to kill her and her unborn child before elbowing, punching, and kicking her.”
XXXTentacion was “…charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness tampering,” according to Vulture.
Despite his domestic violence charges, during June 2017 the rapper appeared on the XXL’s Freshman Class cover being the 10th spot winner, which is the only spot that fans choose. It is shocking and honestly disappointing that someone who had serious charges against them would still gain such popularity.
Audiences need to question who these artists are as people and whether they deserve the time and money that fans spend to see them. Problematic behavior can not be ignored or disregarded just because someone makes music others admire.
If people purposely ignore the danger that artists pose to other people in their personal lives, then the victims or people harmed by them will never get any kind of justice. Artists who display this kind of behavior need to be held accountable for their actions.
Fans who ignore the problem become part of the problem. Artists need to know that making good music doesn’t give them a pass to say and do anything without consequence.
For example, Kanye West often creates songs that represent misogynistic views. He frequently uses profane terms in his lyrics and social media posts. According to West, women should interpret the word b—- as a term of endearment.
No, this word is not an endearing term — not even if sung in a hip-hop song.
With ongoing campaigns that aim to empower women, like the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement, making claims such as the one that West did will only keep women down, making equality difficult to attain. It’s not alright to twist a word that clearly has a derogatory meaning into a sweet sentiment when used in hip-hop music.
Despite examples of misogyny like this one, many people still support West.
Everyone has the choice to decide what kind of people they want to support. An artist can simultaneously make good music and at the same time be an egregious person, undeserving of fans’ acceptance.
It is important that people think deeply about who the artist really is as a person before casting them in such a flattering light.