Spectrum | Dec. 2 7:58 pm EST
the pc version

Respectful rappers Tumblr is nothing short of amazing

Wikimedia Commons

As a politically conscious person, sometimes listening to rap music can be a bit of a challenge. With irresistible beats, I simultaneously rock out and cringe to these lyrics.

Columbia grads Eli Grober and Bob Vulfov created a tumblr that will solve all your problems: Respectful Rappers.

Respectful Rappers dreams of a world where rappers are politically conscious upstanding citizens in support of women’s liberation and sophisticated vocabulary. Here are the best.

respectfulrappers / tumblr

respectfulrappers / tumblr

Yes, world, we are finally seeing Lil’ Wayne be a feminist.

respectfulrappers / tumblr

respectfulrappers / tumblr

Wow, Azealia, that’s a really long word you said there.

respectfulrappers / tumblr

respectfulrappers / tumblr

I think Dr. Dre really meant to say that bitches are the shit

respectfulrappers / tumblr

Ah, a world where people understand dem po-po up to no good.

respectfulrappers / tumblr

respectfulrappers / tumblr

Ahhh, Macklemore always comes through.




  1. Ben • December 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm • Reply

    It’s fine to point out misogyny or homophobia, but it’s pretty bullshit to bowdlerize the NWA lyric. “Fuck the police” is the entire message, and victims of police brutality shouldn’t have to be polite about their anger. There are other lyrics on that blog that get treated similarly. This entire exercise is about asking black music to conform to white expectations. It’s bullshit.

    Also, I know you probably didn’t mean them this way, but those digs about “politically conscious” and “sophisticated vocabulary” are amazingly condescending. The genre is built on politics and poetry.

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  2. "Humor" • December 3, 2013 at 12:00 am • Reply

    isn’t for everybody.

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  3. Really? • December 3, 2013 at 9:58 am • Reply

    Really? White expectations? I’m Latino and had a damn good laugh, Ben. I respect your right to be stupid, but damn, your comments fly in the face of every woman belittled by objectification. You are part of the patriarchy and part of the problem. You also are really racist.

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    • Ben • December 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm • Reply

      I don’t see how I’m supporting patriarchal ideas at all. I said I don’t support the misogynistic or homophobic lyrics. But I’m against belittling/mocking people when they express pain or pride in a way that doesn’t meet our standards of “respectable.”

      When I refer to “white expectations,” I’m talking about the colonial attitudes that say we should ignore victims of oppression unless they complain very, very politely. They can’t use their own slang, they can’t be angry at us, and they have to act exactly like we do. That’s what this tumblr is saying. “Rap culture is not respectable. We know what’s respectable.”

      To be clear, you don’t have to be white to harbor white expectations and attitudes. My mom’s not white, and she harbors these attitudes. But these attitudes come from European colonialism, so that’s why they’re white expectations.

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  4. See... • December 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm • Reply

    You don’t know how, Ben? See your angry comment about “sophisticated vocabulary.” I imagine you have a lot of anger in you, because you are justifying that it is poetic for a man to say “she changed her name to my bitch.” Also, your argument is illogical that “these attitudes come from European colonialism, so that’s why they’re white expectations.” I only hope you see how you are defending sexism through racism. I want to help you, but I’m afraid you are too blinded by your own racism.

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    • Ben • December 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm • Reply

      In both of my comments I condemned the sexist lyrics. They’re disgusting. In case I haven’t been clear: I oppose misogyny and homophobia. I haven’t defended the Lil Wayne lyric. I won’t defend it. I was specifically talking about the NWA lyric.

      As for the poetic side of rap, that’s not represented anywhere on this page. For a well-known example, listen to “Jesus Walks.” For an in-depth example, here’s an essay: http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/when-the-lights-shut-off-kendrick-lamar-and-the-decline-of-the-black-blues-narrative

      I’m talking about race because that’s the crux of this debate. The tumblr and this Spectrum post are not singling out just the misogynists or just the homophobes; they’re painting all rappers with the same brush of disrespect and condescension. Rap is heavily associated with black culture and black experiences and black protest. The critics that demand rap become more “respectable” are completely missing the point by calling it unrespectable in the first place. These criticisms often come from outside black culture and generate a stereotype around it. The primary source of “respectability” criticisms of rap is the white majority, which has historically suppressed black voices.

      If you think I’m being racist against whites, I want to make clear that I’m not talking about the entire white race. I’m not talking about every single white person. I’m talking about the history of racially justified oppression that places so many non-whites at a disadvantage in conversations about culture. Like when we dismiss all of rap as unintellectual or sexist just because we can cherrypick some despicable (yes, I agree they’re despicable) lyrics. It’s the system that predisposes us to make generalizations like this, and all of us, no matter our race, have the choice to join or fight the system.

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  5. really? • December 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm • Reply

    I don’t know if it’s the tumblr’s selections or samantha’s, but i found it pretty limited that the only rapper who was ‘correct’ or ‘politically conscious’ was the white rapper. There are some very, very, eloquent rappers of color out there. Like tupac’s chorus in ‘dear mama’:

    Don’t cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
    Dear mama
    Place no one above ya, sweet lady
    You are appreciated
    Don’t cha know we love ya?

    There are also some pretty ‘incorrect’ lyrics by white rappers, like Eminem.

    I just thought it made this post a lot less powerful that we were only correcting rappers of color.

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