Continuing the Conversation

Elise Arsenault | Reporter 

As a songwriter who digs the “creative potential” concept, I can’t help but see Macklemore’s degrading lyrics as a cop-out. Crafting the song’s music, rhythm and video with innovation proves he can raise the bar in several areas of hip hop, but resorting to an archetypal verse about a woman’s rear before the first hook says to me that he’s not as daring as he could be. He’s still catering to a culture that deems this a correct mentality.

 My second thought is best put by Shad K., a Canadian hip hop artist, in his song “Keep Shining.” Please listen to it and read the lyrics. Therein he admits that though he speaks respectfully of women in his tracks, he’ll never be able to speak for them. “We need women for that, more women in rap,” he urges. And I agree wholeheartedly. 

While misogynistic lyrics are hurtful, I don’t think they have the power to “limit” our creative potential, per se. Personally, I want to use my gifts more purposefully and deliberately in response. This doesn’t justify disrespect in music, of course, but rude wordplay should never stunt the growth and fruition of our gifts, musical or otherwise. Jesus wants to free us from the fear of man in every sphere of life, and pop culture is no exception.