Rollingstone Magazine Fails by Having Only 4 Women featured on its 50 Greatest Hip Hop Song List

Missy elliotThis is the time of year a lot of publications put out End of Year and Best of All Time lists. They’re fun to read as they can take you down memory lane or give you some new perspective on things… At this point in time, you understand there will be a certain bias and there may be one or two names tossed in a list to get people talking. You try to take these things with a grain of salt..

The other day Rollingstone Magazine put out a The 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All-Times. It’s a list that was compiled from a panel of 33 artists, journalists and industry experts. You have luminaries like Def jam co-founder Rick Rubin, former Source editor James Bernard and legendary A&R Dante Ross. Also in the mix were artists like Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Nas, Questlove, Boots Riley of the Coup  and Chuck D of Public Enemy just to name a few..You can peep the entire list of judges HERE

You can peep the entire List of 50 songs HERE

When the list came out I went from panel to panel and and what stood out was the glaring omission of women. In fact we don’t have a female artists being ranked for the first 38 entries. That came in the form of Missy Elliot and her song Get Ur Freak On…Personally I thought Missy who definitely deserves a spot has better songs.

The next entries are Lauryn Hill‘s ‘Lost One’s (45) and Salt-N-Pepa‘s ‘Push It’ (46) . The Greatest Hits list list rounds off at entry 47 where have Funky 4 Plus one More. The ‘one more’ of course is pioneering female emcee Sha Rock..

MCLytehat-150Initially I wasn’t gonna weigh in on this, but damn in 2012 and you would think at this point in time folks would know better and do better. Its time to expand our mind and make room for other voices, mainly women in our collective thinking. I don’t know what the process was when RS did the final editing, but no one at that magazine looked at that list and asked ‘Where’s MC Lyte’s ‘Cha Cha Cha‘ or ‘Cappuccino‘? Did anyone at RS bother to check out her site Hip Hop Sisters?

No one at RS or on that panel gave a second thought about Queen Latifah‘s ‘Ladies’ First‘ which featured Monie Love and its impact? No one thought about UNITY…No one? Really? Cmon now..

None of the folks at the panel gave a thought about the 33 songs that were released around the whole Roxanne Roxanne saga? Some of those songs were landmark.  They gave birth to artists like; Sparky D, Roxanne Shante and the Real Roxanne.. None of those women were good enough to be included? There was no room for an artist like YoYo? No Lady of Rage‘s Afro Puffs? No love for Mystic’s ‘The Life’? No choice cuts from Foxy Brown, Eve or Lil Kim made the list?? How is our collective thinking so narrow in 2012?

Luther Campbell of the 2Live Crew was among the panel of experts  that Rollingstone assembled. Did he or anyone mention Anquette‘s Janet Reno? Luke in the past has been very clear to talk about how that song which was done by his cousin helped Reno win an election for DA against a lawyer named Jack Thompson. Luke explained that Thompson became enraged as a result of this and wound up coming after 2Live crew for having obscene material. The case against 2Live crew went all the way to the Supreme Ct.. If one record be the source of all that, should it not be on the RS list?


Lauryn Hill

With respect to Lauryn Hill who won more Grammys than many of the artists featured and the experts assembled should’ve been further up the list, like in the top 15 or 20. I would’ve picked Doo Whop (That Thing) which charted on Billboard as number 1 or Everything is Everything..

Considering Rollingstone’s glaring omissions I guess it would be too much to expect them to have even considered a Jean Grae, Bahamadia, Rah Digga, Conscious Daughters or Medusa?

All I can say at this point is to Rollingstone and its panel of experts which included only 2 or 3 women at the most. that was big miss to only have 3 or 4 females on that list of 50 Greatest songs. It was a big miss and just plain wack.. For those who need more info on women making moves.. Here’s playlist I put together earlier this year.

Niggery: When Will The Buffoonery & Coonery End? by Global Hip Hop Battles

Think Hip HopGlobal Hip Hop Battles, is committed to raising people’s consciousness, by sharing information through our post. Our goal is to empower and challenge the youth, to think far beyond their borders; that are often surrounded with an influx of negative images and messages.

We’ve made it no secret in the past, that we believe hip hop culture and the media, has become one-sided; with respect to messages and images being portrayed.

If you take a look at hip hop and the media twenty-years-ago, you can see there was more balance, in regards to the images and messages being displayed.

Music of this era included artist such as Queen Latifah, and Public Enemy, and Big Daddy Kane, just to name a few.

While, television at the time included shows like The Cosby Show, A Different World, Living Single, and BET’s Teen Summit to name a few.

And while these artist and television shows, were different with respect to their music and programs, they seemed to always be dedicated to making sure they worked to raise peoples consciousness; especially young people.

Fast forward to 2012, and we’re living in a time where the messages and images don’t seem as positive. Instead, the majority of the images and messages seem to be anything, but empowering.

It seems as though we’re living in an era, where mass media floods the market, with a barrage of negative stereotypical images; that work against helping to build and repair urban society.

For example, television shows like Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,as well as several websites, seem to fuel this stereotype, by portraying Black men and women in a very negative light. They seem to perpetuate the pimp and ho’s mentality, by glorifying these images.

Now we’re not saying that television shows and websites  shouldn’t have the right to promote what they desire, we’re simply saying there needs to be more balance, with respect to the images we see. Often times, those negative images have the potential to cloud people’s judgement.

For example, when speaking with a friend, who’s a Black woman, and a business owner, she explained that people expect her to behave like the woman on these reality shows, when brokering business deals. She also indicated that she has to spend time reaffirming herself to potential clients, in order to be taken seriously,during business transactions.

The current cultural climate seems to have accepted this behavior as being normal, which seems to have caused  the respect level for Black men and women, to depreciate greatly.

In addition, many of the current hip hop artist, aren’t helping the matter, using the term bitches and ho’s loosely, and glorifying the pimp culture; to the degree that it’s become apart of the everyday vernacular.

20 years ago, it wasn’t culturally accepted to be a “bitch,”  “pimp,” or a “ho” In fact, many of the artist made the choice to stay away from those stereotypes, to offer an alternative in hopes of empowering Black men and women.

big-Daddy-Kane-ponder-300A prime example is from hip hop legend Big Daddy Kane. During TV One’s Unsung series, Big Daddy Kane said that he wasn’t raised to call women bitches and ho’s, “that’s not the way I was raised, my moms didn’t raise me that way” said Kane.

Therefore, his music encompassed his morals and he refused to waiver. He took responsibility and seemed to approach his position, as an artist with a sense of purpose.

Queen Latifah also made it clear in her 1993 song “Unity” where she spoke out against being disrespected. This seems to have worked to make women demand respect, during times where they felt disrespected.

Somewhere over the past 20 years, however these messages of empowerment, and respect were exchanged for disrespect, and degradation of the Black community.

The portrayal of men and women in hip hop and the media, is just one facet of the issues, another problem seems to be with lack of uplifting and informative messages; both on television and in the music.

While there are a handful of artist, who do concentrate on bringing empowering messages to people. They seem to often be over-shadowed by the negative messages and images.

The iconic hip hop group Public Enemy, spoke out against the injustices plaguing urban communities in songs like “Fight the Power;” which served to raise awareness about these issues.

In 2012, most of these issues remain to be the same, yet few seem bold enough to speak up. Instead, the culture seems to be saturated with messages that only further work to dis-empower people.

An example on television, is BET’s Teen Summit; which was on the air during the 1990′s. Teen Summit, took real Black teenagers, and gave them a forum to address issues including sex, violence in communities, applying to college, and money matters to name a few.

Cosby showIn addition, sitcoms like “The Cosby Show,”  ” A Different World,”  “Living Single,” worked to empower people. For example, many of us who grew up watching “A Different World,” were inspired to attend colleges and universities, as a result. That’s the power great programing can have on people, if  it’s offered.

In 2012, BET does not offer a program that’s dedicated to addressing issues young people face, and giving them information aimed at empowering them. In addition, there are few sitcoms on television, due to the influx of often reckless reality shows.

Now as we stated earlier, we understand that there’s a time and place for everyone and everything, what we are simply saying is, there needs to be better balance with respect to images and messages; if we want to properly move into the future.

Young people are impressionable, and if they are only exposed to poor images, then that’s what they’ll become. We owe it to our communities and ourselves to bring more balanced images to the forefront, and help to empower the youth.

Let’s all make a conscious choice to bring balance to our culture. If you know better, then do better!

Google is gearing up for a debate on hip hop titled versus debate. It’s scheduled to air live online, and will feature the legendary KRS-One, ?uestlove, and Rev. Jesse Jackson, to name a few. In the debate/discussion they will ask the following questions:

Is hip-hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action? Or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?


Disturbing NY Post Subway Photo Sets Off Debate..Make Money or Save Lives?

Post photo subway I know I’m not the only one who finds the irony of newspaper outlets like the New York Post that would seemingly rush to license and publish a shocking photo of a man named Ki Suk Han about to get crushed by a subway train, but didn’t seem to eager to go against the Bush imposed media blackout on war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I guess for the NY Post its ok to shock our senses and maybe get us to debate the journalistic ethics around helping someone in dire straits vs documenting even as danger looms. Imagine if early on the NY Post showed shocking pictures illustrating the horrors of war and set off debates about why we were even in places like Iraq.

Imagine if the NY Post found a way to get photographers to document the day in and day out abuse many NY residents have to endure when they are stopped and frisked by overzealous cops. Can they shock our senses about police abuse or corruption?  Apparently not..

In the back drop of all this is the FCC led by Obama appointee  and current chair, Julius Genachowski seems to be down to loosen up the rules that would allow Post owner Rupert Murdoch to buy the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times..That would allow Murdoch to run shocking pictures in those outlets while remaining silent on war casualties.

As for the photographer R. Umar Abbasi after seeing his interview on the Today Show where he explained he was nowhere near the man to help him, I just didn’t buy it..His attitude and subsequent actions seemed more interested in a payday based on death vs saving a life or at least trying..

His attitude seems to be of the same vein of far too many who will close their doors and button up the hatches vs extend a helping hand. We saw a lot of that during Katrina. Heck we just saw that during Hurricane Sandy where a woman went door to door with her two kids trying to avoid flood waters. People refused to help her or open their doors and hearts to her frantic screams even as her kids were swept away to their death by the rushing waters.

The NY Post picture in my humble opinion represents our collective devaluing of life and another step away from our humanity