NPR Report Says Rap Promotes Prostitution in Bay Area
A recent National Public Radio report on teenage prostitution in Oakland, California turned up a familiar culprit: gangsta rap.
Explaining her entrance into the “game,” Darlene, a former prostitute who signed at the request of a boyfriend at the age of 15, claimed that she was enthralled by the money and glamor she heard about in the music made by local rappers like Too Short. “A lot of it is glorified,” Darlene explained. “Oh, you’re from Oakland. Everybody has dreads; everybody goes dumb; we pop pills, smoke a lot of weed; parties, sideshows and hos.”
In the audio version of the story, which can be heard here, excerpts of Too Short songs are played to familiarize listeners with Shorty the Pimp’s glorification of the pimp lifestyle and frequently misogynistic lyrics. ‘I Wanna Pimp You Hoe,’ ‘What’s a Pimp?’ ‘Pimp Life,’ ‘Pimpin Forever’ and ‘B—-, I’m a Pimp,’ are several examples of the Oakland rapper’s songs which glorify pimping and prostitution.
“I used to fantasize about boys that are gangstas. ‘Oh, they get hecka money and they’re just gangsta and cute, and it’s cool,'” Darlene continued. “That’s OK when you’re in high school. After that, what are you gonna do with your life? You’re gonna be in jail or you’re gonna be dead, and I don’t want part of either one of those.”
While hip-hop is a frequent scapegoat for criminal behavior, its negative influence on teenage behavior is sadly undeniable.