Sinclair: Stop supporting hip-hop artists with atrocious histories



Isaac Sinclair

As a huge hip-hop fan, I love to get into new artists. I love finding new talent and watching them blow up.

But a disturbing trend I’ve been seeing with too many new artists is an extreme history of violence, especially toward women.

Too many artists have become successful with atrocious stories following them, and no one seems to care about these stories. To be clear, I don’t like giving these artists any sort of attention, but I believe it is important to make it clear why no one should support them or their music.

My first example is Lil Pump. You may know him from his annoying hit “Gucci Gang,” which has more than 646 million views on YouTube.

You may also know the story of him beating a woman. In an interview, he bragged about how he beat up a girl when he was in middle school. What is so disturbing is that he is both bragging and laughing about this situation.

My second example is 6ix9ine, a rapper you might remember for his colorful hair and teeth. His hit single “Gummo” reached No. 13 on the Hot 100 Chart and has over 180 million views on YouTube.

Meanwhile, he has plead guilty to the use of a child in a sexual performance, and then showed pride it in, saying to a crowd, “a pedophile is doing better than you.”

My third and final example is XXXTentacion, whom you may remember from his infamous, crooked-head mug shot. His album “?” went No. 1 on the Billboard charts and was streamed 159 million times in that first week.

He is currently on house arrest while awaiting his trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness-tampering.

These are only a few examples, but there are unfortunately more. This type of behavior can’t be tolerated or supported, no matter how popular these artists may be.

Hip-hop does have a reputation for misogynistic violence, and there is no denying that. However, it is important to note that this reputation does not apply every hip-hop artist, and I believe hip-hop has come a long way in how it talks about women.

Dr. Dre, a titan of hip-hop, had a history of domestic violence when he was younger. But what separates him from these new rappers is that he did not brag about it and since that time in his life has apologized.

An apology doesn’t automatically forgive someone, but it is clear that Dre has changed his behavior and grown as a person. He has been married for 19 years without incident and makes it clear that hitting a woman is never okay, which hopefully can set the right example for the next generation.

Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J. Cole, three of the biggest and most talented voices in hip-hop today, support women and advocate for equality in their music and in their public lives. They are setting an example that I hope most people realize is what truly represents hip-hop, and that the behavior of these new artists with brazen, and almost prideful, displays of violence against women do not represent what hip-hop is today.

Artists who commit horrible crimes such as these shouldn’t be admired, and we certainly shouldn’t ignore their history so we don’t feel guilty while listening to their music.

Some people want to separate the music from the artist, but I don’t believe you can do that. The success these artists receive from their music normalizes their behavior. If your favorite rapper can hit a woman, then why is it such a big deal? It is a big deal, but supporting these kinds of artists shows people, and those artists specifically, that there are no consequences for being a monster.

These artists need to be held accountable for their actions. They need to apologize and make it clear that their actions are not acceptable instead of bragging about them and making it appear okay to be a horrible person.

And you have the power to hold them accountable.

Stop listening to their music, even if you like it. I know that would be hard to do if you’re a fan, but stop supporting them. If you know they have these histories, and you choose to continue to support them, then you are supporting a monster. You’re supporting someone who is proud to have put their hands on a woman or done horrible things to a child. You’re normalizing and minimizing their behavior.

Is that something you’re proud of? Is that something you’re comfortable with? If not, stop supporting these artists.