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Hip Hop And Domestic Violence: A Complex History

Why isn't domestic violence taken as seriously as it should be?

22nd Jun 2018

Image Credit; Page Six

Last week’s news of New York rapper Fabolous’ alleged Domestic Violence (DV) incident is disturbing, yet can serve as a statistic to a history of past DV cases in Hip Hop and the entertainment industry.

As a New Yorker, it pains me to see Fabolous in such a bad light. Although the full details of the incident are yet to be revealed, the video that surfaced the internet is unsettling and displays unacceptable behaviour on Fabolous’ part. It’s alleged that the Brooklyn rapper punched his long-term girlfriend and mother of his children, Emily Bustamante seven times in the head, and severely damaged her two front teeth. As of now, Loso has been charged with aggravated assault and terroristic threat, and could face up to 10 years in prison. A court date has been set for later this month and we await for the full story to be revealed.

Fab has been generally liked and respected throughout his career by most Hip Hop fans, and especially so in New York. When the news first surfaced, social media was quick to bash him (as usual). However, the reaction from New York radio stations and media has been somewhat underwhelming. While some may argue that not enough information has been revealed to properly discuss the issue (rightly so), others believe opinions were held back because of the city’s love for Fabolous (also a valid point).

This raises the question on whether we give artists and celebrities special treatment in relation to issues such as DV, abuse and other crimes of similar nature.

Without diving into full detail, incidents such as Chris Brown’s infamous assault on then girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, and Dr. Dre’s assault of a female reporter from MTV, Dee Barnes in 1991, are two from hundreds of DV incidents in the entertainment industry that may have been given more mercy than they actually deserved.

More recently, XXXTenatacion’s come up in the rap game is highly down to his consistent involvement in controversy, specifically of numerous incidents involving violent behaviour and abuse towards women. Subsequently, he has gained immense popularity by confessing (and arguably) glorifying it in his music. In fact, fans seem to gravitate towards his honesty, and while he was in jail for a battery charge on a 17 year old women, his rap-status reached a new plateu, which is nothing but alarming.

Similarly, fellow rookie Kodak Black has also heightened his fanbase while serving time for sexually assaulting a women after she had attended one of his concerts in 2016. Another case is rapper NBA Young Boy who is currently held in prison without bail, for beating his girlfriend in a hotel room. 

Our culture and entertainment industry has a very serious and worrying problem; the ease of forgiving men who abuse women, because they are talented and their music is loved. Domestic violence is not something to be taken lightly. Thousands of cases happen everyday, and in no way, shape or form should they ever be overlooked, ignored and certainly not glorified.

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