I wanted to make this list to get it out of my head. I keep lists up there sometimes, and this one is especially burdensome. It’s a list of hip-hop songs that I hear, enjoy, sometimes that I listen to often, that glamorize sexual violence against women (SVAW).
I began holding this list in because hearing these lyrics can be very painful. I thought to myself, I wish I could note which song contains a particularly triggering lyric so that I could prepare myself. Some days, I could use the list to skip songs altogether because that one or two verses is such a reminder of the pain that survivors of sexual assault, and victims of a social landscape dominated by extreme violence against women, carry.
There was a very practical purpose for me as an individual to keep this list, but then, as a student of gender theory and power dynamics, I became interested in the list as a social project. I know quantifiable data is useful and helpful. For example, feminists fighting incels online could reference the list as hella data on songs that glorify SVAW when debating whether popular music hurts women.
I also want to show just how seemingly harmless lyrics help to engrain rape culture and SVAW in our minds, and also in our streets and neighborhoods. I am so tired of seeing women killed, brutalized, thrown into ravines, targeted for their misfortune of being born a woman in this society, and the power and clear pleasure, if I’m being real,that men can gain from women’s suffering. I need more. I need everyone, all of us, to locate the parts of us that make space for violence against women, that make space for hurting women. I want to make it easier to locate those spaces and take a cold, hard look.
I want to shine a light on those moments, those lyrics in our favorite songs, that incriminate all of us in the murder of Haruka Weiser. I’m sad. I’m tired. I’m always sad and tired. And I’m just one person. The collective tired sadness of the people who are affected by SVAW or who give a shit about those who do, needs some damn relief.
This list is a balm to me to create. It heals me and frees me to shine the lights here. This is where I find my voice.
1. Back Up by Dej Loaf (specifically Big Sean’s verse):
She gon hold this dick like a Grammy
I give her bomb D and do damage, she like…
2. It’s a Vibe by Two Chainz:
Beat that pussy up, I need riot gear
3. Song by Post Malone (specifically 21 Savage’s verse):
Hit her from the back, pullin’ on her tracks
And now she screamin’ out, “no más” [no more]
4. Thotiana by Bluface
Ain’t no running, Thotiana, you gon’ take these damn strokes (Thotiana)
I beat the pussy up, now it’s a murder scene
I don’t know how this list will find its use or purpose in the world, after I birth it, but I plan to keep adding to the list over time. Last update March 21, 2019.