Hip-hop’s long-held problem with toxic masculinity and misogyny is no secret, but every so often an example is so egregious it bears calling out — high, loud, and repeatedly.
Kendrick Lamar — or his representation — is dead wrong in advocating for XXXtentacion against Spotify’s decision to pull X’s music from their promoted playlists. I don’t care about a backlash, I’m going to stand behind these words until my soul leaves this earth. It is absolutely disgusting that with all the power of his platform and position, that this is an issue he decides to take a stand on.
The “slippery slope” argument is crap. There’s a reason it’s included on a list of fallacies, not strong logical arguments. Yes, you could question the reasoning behind every decision for every artist Spotify decides to pull from its promoted lists, but ultimately the issue falls to the age-old adage: “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”
Here’s another: Hit dogs holler. Nobody finds it at least a little strange that the correlation between the men speaking out against movements like Me Too and Times Up in fear of “witch hunts” and false accusations and the ones who are later credibly accused of harassment, abuse, and sexual impropriety?
If you aren’t standing close to the drop, a slippery slope is never a problem. If you aren’t standing on the hill to begin with, even less so.
But let’s talk about why it sucks for Kendrick Lamar of all people to support X’s campaign for playlist reinstatement. As one of the top two rappers in the world at the moment — three, if you include Kanye — he has incredible influence and visibility. His words and actions send messages, not always the ones he intends.
He thinks he’s protecting artists by standing with X. The message he’s really sending is that, as per usual in hip-hop, Black culture, and American society in general, the bottom line is more important than Black women’s safety and emotional well-being. X’s mediocre music is more important than Black women’s safety and emotional well-being. Kendrick Lamar’s own standing in the eyes of young, impressionable, and mostly male fans is more important than Black women’s safety and emotional well-being.