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Ladies of Rap

After KRS One's contribution of the 9 elements of Hip-hop/Rap, I think it’s only right to begin the polar comparisons between the past and contemporary. I want to begin with two women - Queen Latifah and Eve. Through this polarity, I will explore the ways in which the 9 elements have changed and the unchanged components.
Queen Latifah's infamous U.N.I.T.Y released in 1993 off of her album “Black Reign” is speaking about the sexism and domestic violence African American women experience within their community.
Eve's "Love is Blind" released in 1999 on her "Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders' First Lady" album discusses domestic violence against African American women.
Like KRS One suggested, a rapper needs to have a commanding appearance and I think the ladies dressed to impress according to their time periods. Other than the fashion, which saw a tremendous shift within a 6-year period, both artists still utilize a lot of the 9 Elements KRS One pointed out. A rapper is respected by his or her MC’ing and both ladies proved their skills in each song. Eve’s album went double platinum. Beat boxing, break dancing, and graffiti are the missing elements in these songs and they are unnecessary knowing the messages the songs carry. Other than that, the street fashion street language, and street knowledge still carry through these songs. Although KRS One did not consider music videos as elements of hip-hop, it is very reasonable to say that music videos are a big part of hip-hop today. The music videos reflect a lot of change, not only technologically but also in the fashion, choice of location, etc.
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Sorry lyrics are long. Enjoy the videos.
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“U.N.I.T.Y” - Queen Latifah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prhF6LE89z4

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Uh, U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity
U.N.I.T.Y., love a black man from infinity to infinity
(Who you calling a bitch?)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black woman from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black man from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)

Instinct leads me to another flow
Everytime I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a ho
Trying to make a sister feel low
You know all of that gots to go
Now everybody knows there's exceptions to this rule
Now don't be getting mad, when we playing, it's cool
But don't you be calling out my name
I bring wrath to those who disrespect me like a dame
That's why I'm talking, one day I was walking down the block
I had my cutoff shorts on right cause it was crazy hot
I walked past these dudes when they passed me
One of 'em felt my booty, he was nasty
I turned around red, somebody was catching the wrath
Then the little one said (Yeah me bitch) and laughed
Since he was with his boys he tried to break fly
Huh, I punched him dead in his eye and said "Who you calling a bitch?"

(Here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black woman from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)
(Here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black man from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)

I hit the bottom, ain't nowhere else to go but up
Bad days at work, if you an attitude then you were rough
And take it out on me but that's about enough
You put your hands on me again I'll put your ass in handcuffs
I guess I fell so deep in love I grew dependency
I was too blind to see just how it was affecting me
All I knew was you, you was all the man I had
And I was scared to let you go, even though you treated me bad
But I don't want my kids to see me getting beat down
By daddy smacking mommy all around
You say I'm nothing without ya, but I'm nothing with ya
A man don't really love you if he hits ya
This is my notice to the door, I'm not taking it no more
I'm not your personal whore, that's not what I'm here for
And nothing good gonna come to ya til you do right by me
Brother you ain't ?sick? (Who you calling a bitch?)

(Here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black woman from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)
(Here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black man from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)

What's going on in your mind is what I ask ya
But like Yo-Yo, you don't hear me though
You wear a rag around your head and you
Call yourself a "Gangsta Bitch" now that you saw Apache's video
I saw you wilding, acting like a fool
I peeped you out the window jumping girls after school
But where did all of this come from?
A minute ago, you was a nerd and nobody ever heard of ya
Now you a wannabe...hard
You barely know your ABC's, please
There's plenty of people out there with triggers ready to pull it
Why you trying to jump in front of the bullet (Young lady)
Uh, and real bad girls are the silent type
Ain't none of this work getting your face sliced
Cause that's what happened to your homegirl, right? Bucking with nobody
She got to wear that for life (Who you calling a bitch?)

(Here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black woman from (You got to let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)
(Here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y. that's a unity (You gotta let him know)
(You go, come on here we go)
U.N.I.T.Y., Love a black man from (You must let him know)
infinity to infinity (You ain't a bitch or a ho)

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"Love is Blind"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7XgyFHjq_8&feature=related

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[eve]
Hey, yo i don't even know you and i hate you
See all i know is that my girlfriend used to date you
How would you feel if she held you down and raped you?
Tried and tried, but she never could escape you
She was in love and i'd ask her how? i mean why?
What kind of love from a nigga would black your eye?
What kind of love from a nigga every night make you cry?
What kind of love from a nigga make you wish he would die?
I mean shit he bought you things and gave you diamond rings
But them things wasn't worth none of the pain that he brings
And you stayed, what made you fall for him?
That nigga had the power to make you crawl for him
I thought you was a doctor be on call for him
Smacked you down cause he said you was too tall for him, huh?
That wasn't love, babygirl you was dreamin'
I could have killed you when you said your seed was growin' from his semen

1 ¨c [faith]
Love is blind, and love is blind
It will take over your mind
What you think is love may truly not be
You need to elevate and find

[eve](faith)
I don't even know you and i'd kill you myself
You played with her like a doll and put her back on the shelf
Wouldn't let her go to school and better herself
She had a baby by your ass and you ain't giving no help
Uh-huh big time hustler, snake motherfucker
One's born everyday and everyday she was your sucker
How could you beat the mother of your kids?
How could you tell her that you lover her?
Don't give a fuck if she lives
She told me she would leave you, i admit it she did
But came back, made up a lie about you missing your kids
Sweet kisses, baby ain't even know she was your mistress
Had to deal with fist fights and phone calls from your bitches
Floss like you possess her, tellin' me to mind my business
Said that it was her life and stay the fuck out of it
I tried and said just for him i'll keep a ready clip
(no, no, no, no)

Repeat 1

[eve](faith)
I don't even know you and i want you dead
Don't know the facts but i saw the blood pour from her head
See i laid down beside her in the hospital bed
And about two hours later, doctors said she was dead
Had the nerve to show up at her mother's house the next day
To come and pay your respects and help the family pray
Even knelt down on one knee and let a tear drop (oh)
And before you had a chance to get up
You heard my gun cock
Prayin' to me now, i ain't god but i'll pretend
I ain't start your life but nigga i'mma bring it to an end
And i did, clear shots and no regrets, never
Cops comin' in, watch me going to jail
Nigga whatever my bitch, fuck it my sister
You could never figure out even if i let you live
What our love was all about
I considered her my blood and it don't come no thicker (whoa)

Comments

What I am curious about is what you think of the discursive differences in these two songs, particularly in their approach to women's issues. While Queen Latifah read the domestic violence through herself, she warns against violence and I would say argues for self actualization, Eve reads the violence through a friend and her solution to the violence is in fact more violence. What does this mean when we look at current debates about attitudes towards women in hip hop or even the kind of shifts from the early Nineties to the turn of the century that are evident? 4/5

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