Mainstream Rap’s “New” Masculinity:
A Take on Who Embodies Dominance
Hip-hop purists are quick to decry the current players in rap, wanting the essence of “real hip-hop” back. “Real hip-hop” (of the late 80s & 90′s) is often punctuated by braggadocio, flair, various forms of violence, misogyny/transmisogyny, lyricism, and above all, aversions to all things fake or phony. There are many among the purists who cringe at the thought of an effeminate man even existing in rap, let alone topping the charts. A Black woman, too? Who crosses over into pop, effortlessly? Nah, they’re not having it. It’s not “real” by standards of the “REAL” (Golden Age) hip-hop.
Maybe I’m missing something, but based on the criteria of “real hip-hop,” today’s popular rap figures are just as “real” as a purist’s favorites.