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Self-loathing and Rap: Does Hip-Hop Really Hate Itself?

Self-hated: extreme dislike of oneself, or being angry at oneself.

Hip-hop is going through an extreme identity crisis. On Monday, I wrote about how many of its biggest upcoming stars are actually hip-POP artists and today, I was thinking about how much hip-hop hates itself.

If you need any example of what I’m talking about, look no further than Waka Flocka’s existence. Let Twitter tell it, we all hate him. From Stephen Hill’s rant to links to “ShawtBus Shawty” and his infamous 106 and Park appearance where Terrence J (wrongfully?) baited him into answering broad questions about voting and education—it seems clear that we think he shouldn’t exist. However, these same people who are talking about Flocka are the same ones standing on couches at every club from M2 to MyHouse last summer, going hard to “Oh Let’s Do It.” Fast forward to summer 2010 and we’re still doing it. He’s still booking shows, he’s still getting radio spins, he’s still here and it definitely isn’t because we hate him. It’s because we love to hate him.

Last week, I watched article after article about Waka Flocka pop up all over the place—Village Voice, NY Times, and an exceptionally intriguing piece on Hip-Hop DX by Andrew Noz. But Sean Fennessey put it best with the headline “Why Flockavelli is hard to listen to and even harder to not listen to.” It’s like you hate it but secretly you have to love it, or at least be awed by it.

It’s the same feeling when you see something horrific on WorldStarHipHop or a car accident on the street. It’s so terrible, so shocking, so ugly…

Like Kat Stacks. Her core post-SuperHead attitudes and beliefs are the direct product of her buying into some of the misogynistic ideals expounded by hip-hop. This poor little girl has gotten all her sense of self from the culture and the music (and I’m sure a million other factors play into this but the non-existent book deal she keeps bringing up makes me feel like some of these ideas seeped into her head from the previous success of particular industry hoes-for-hire). She aspires to be all of the salacious things that some rap about but we hate her.

I’m not preaching. I’m just saying. How many of y’all are hating on Kat Stacks but are still following her on Twitter? Talking about her by the water cooler or at the barber shop? How many of y’all hate Waka but will admit that “Hard in the Paint” goes… well, hard in the paint? Let’s be real here. And if you’re not one of these contradictory fan-haters, are you in denial about how these characters and many like them are an important part of the hip-hop dialogue? If so, you’re just as bad as the former. —Brooklyne Gipson

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