Whatcha Call Me?
By Tachelle "Shamash" Wilkes
Ok the whole Immus thing is said, but not done. Yes the man is an asshole and shouldn't said what he said, but let's turn back the hands of time and take it back in day when rappers used to be emcees and wouldn't shout "bitch" into a crowd of women, no we were "ladies." Remember that?
Remember when emcees would talk to women and not about women like LL Cool J in "I Need Love," and "Around The Way Girl," or brothers actually had real things to say like KRS-One and flexed real skills on the mic like Rakim. Remember that?
Remember when sistas could hang like the guys whether they wore baggies or a skirt like MC Lyte in "Paper Thin," "Get Up," like the strong and sultry Salt n Pepa and Yo Yo was talking about being an independent black woman in "Don't Play With My Yo Yo."
Or remember when brothers didn't have to ring out "bitch," and "ho," in every line because they couldn't come up with another word or thought that by degrading women by using these words could make a weak rhyme strong.
Ladies remember when the "B word" was blasphemy? It would come out of somebody's mouth and a half second later that was the precursor for World War III? It didn't matter if the perpetrator was a girl or guy, they got their ass whipped. Remember that?
Remember when hip hop was fun – we had jams in New York City school yards & parks with djs spinning for hundreds of people or when hip hop was relevant with Public Enemy spitting "Fight The Power," and Queen Latifah singing "Unity." We were a united front.
Or what about when there was more balance in hip hop? Yeah you had your thugs, but you also had your intellectual cats. Now a days these major labels are looking for cookie cutter rappers who got a short shelf life or whose spitting venom in the form of ignorance. Question – do some of these cats even know what they are talking about on their songs? They probably rewind that ish three times back and still ain't got a clue.
Remember when radio would play the spectrum of hip hop music from Biggie to CL Smooth to Grand Puba to the Fugees? Now on the radio it's the same stuff just another day. Lord help us.
Back to the present, its 2007 many young girls have lost respect for themselves and each other and in turn brothers have lost respect for their sistas. Young girls see these video vixens on the TV screen, where many aren't making money, will do whatever to be seen hoping to catch the eye of some rapper or video director. It's time for hip hop to grow up and be responsible for it's children. This includes, not just the rappers, but the label heads, producers, journalists, directors of TV programming, educators and definitely the parents.
Moving forward, much kudos and respect for brothers like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, and the notables, and yes it is time for us to get sistas like Bahamadia, Jean Grae and Medusa out of hiding. They need to get the support of the masses, so that young women as well as men can see that there is another side to hip hop when it comes to women.
Women are mothers, wives, educators, healers, providers and so much more. I challenge sisters to get back to the source and understand the power we hold and I challenge brothers to know that there are many different types of women, and for those rappers who synonymously use words like "bitch" and "ho," whether they male or female, rethink the use because your daughter, niece or neighbor could be listening to your next record.
Originally appeared in femmixx.com.