'Flirt[ing] with death' but 'still alive': The sexual dimension of surplus time in hip hop fantasy

Michael Ralph

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article argues that the tendency in rap music to depict women as accessories and sexual servants is the partial result of a widespread attitude that women have better prospects for earning a legitimate wage than their male counterparts. The effort to devalue women - and, by extension, female labor - leads avowedly heteronormative rappers to displace intimacy onto feminized arenas, like 'the game' or 'the Streets'. This is one way of coping with a general sense of disappointedness that inheres in the tortured sense of masculinity whose contours I tentatively sketch here. This article closes by pinpointing one reason for this preoccupation with death, fascination with 'bling', and denigration of women: the experience of 'surplus time' - the sense that, according to perceived life expectancies, these rappers should already be dead. In theorizing this predicament, I explore some social consequences of the belief these rappers have more time available than they had anticipated.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)61-88
    Number of pages28
    JournalCultural Dynamics
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 2006

    Fingerprint

    hip hop
    death
    rap
    music
    life expectancy
    servants
    intimacy
    social effects
    wage
    masculinity
    coping
    labor
    time
    surplus
    woman
    Surplus
    Hip-hop
    Sexual
    Fantasy
    Rappers

    Keywords

    • Hip hop
    • Labor
    • Masculinity
    • Morality
    • Mortality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development

    Cite this

    'Flirt[ing] with death' but 'still alive' : The sexual dimension of surplus time in hip hop fantasy. / Ralph, Michael.

    In: Cultural Dynamics, Vol. 18, No. 1, 03.2006, p. 61-88.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{46ac55c162c84c80a6896c11b9d8cf91,
    title = "'Flirt[ing] with death' but 'still alive': The sexual dimension of surplus time in hip hop fantasy",
    abstract = "This article argues that the tendency in rap music to depict women as accessories and sexual servants is the partial result of a widespread attitude that women have better prospects for earning a legitimate wage than their male counterparts. The effort to devalue women - and, by extension, female labor - leads avowedly heteronormative rappers to displace intimacy onto feminized arenas, like 'the game' or 'the Streets'. This is one way of coping with a general sense of disappointedness that inheres in the tortured sense of masculinity whose contours I tentatively sketch here. This article closes by pinpointing one reason for this preoccupation with death, fascination with 'bling', and denigration of women: the experience of 'surplus time' - the sense that, according to perceived life expectancies, these rappers should already be dead. In theorizing this predicament, I explore some social consequences of the belief these rappers have more time available than they had anticipated.",
    keywords = "Hip hop, Labor, Masculinity, Morality, Mortality",
    author = "Michael Ralph",
    year = "2006",
    month = "3",
    doi = "10.1177/0921374006063415",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "18",
    pages = "61--88",
    journal = "Cultural Dynamics",
    issn = "0921-3740",
    publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
    number = "1",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - 'Flirt[ing] with death' but 'still alive'

    T2 - The sexual dimension of surplus time in hip hop fantasy

    AU - Ralph, Michael

    PY - 2006/3

    Y1 - 2006/3

    N2 - This article argues that the tendency in rap music to depict women as accessories and sexual servants is the partial result of a widespread attitude that women have better prospects for earning a legitimate wage than their male counterparts. The effort to devalue women - and, by extension, female labor - leads avowedly heteronormative rappers to displace intimacy onto feminized arenas, like 'the game' or 'the Streets'. This is one way of coping with a general sense of disappointedness that inheres in the tortured sense of masculinity whose contours I tentatively sketch here. This article closes by pinpointing one reason for this preoccupation with death, fascination with 'bling', and denigration of women: the experience of 'surplus time' - the sense that, according to perceived life expectancies, these rappers should already be dead. In theorizing this predicament, I explore some social consequences of the belief these rappers have more time available than they had anticipated.

    AB - This article argues that the tendency in rap music to depict women as accessories and sexual servants is the partial result of a widespread attitude that women have better prospects for earning a legitimate wage than their male counterparts. The effort to devalue women - and, by extension, female labor - leads avowedly heteronormative rappers to displace intimacy onto feminized arenas, like 'the game' or 'the Streets'. This is one way of coping with a general sense of disappointedness that inheres in the tortured sense of masculinity whose contours I tentatively sketch here. This article closes by pinpointing one reason for this preoccupation with death, fascination with 'bling', and denigration of women: the experience of 'surplus time' - the sense that, according to perceived life expectancies, these rappers should already be dead. In theorizing this predicament, I explore some social consequences of the belief these rappers have more time available than they had anticipated.

    KW - Hip hop

    KW - Labor

    KW - Masculinity

    KW - Morality

    KW - Mortality

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33645745587&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33645745587&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1177/0921374006063415

    DO - 10.1177/0921374006063415

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:33645745587

    VL - 18

    SP - 61

    EP - 88

    JO - Cultural Dynamics

    JF - Cultural Dynamics

    SN - 0921-3740

    IS - 1

    ER -