August 07, 2002

GETTING GOTTI: Yes, Rolling Stone

GETTING GOTTI: Yes, Rolling Stone may still be rather irrelevant, but at least new Managing Editor Ed Needham has made it readable (which it wasn't last year, when 'N Sync and Creed were on the cover of consecutive issues). The newest issue, with Mr. Springsteen on the cover and a five-star review of "The Rising" on the inside (by Kurt Loder, of all people), features a fascinating profile (not online, unfortunately) of hip-hop producer Irv Gotti, the man behind the Murder, Inc. record label and its string of recent hit hip-hop/R&B duets featuring various combinations of Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti, and Fat Joe. The most eye-catching part is a top-ten list of "Gotti's Greatest" songs, nearly all of which are duets between a thuggish male and a female who chooses to stick by such a man despite (or perhaps because of) his thuggery and mistreatment of her. In discussing Ashanti's song "Foolish," RS staffer "Toure" writes that women are drawn to such music because they "like to imagine a love so intense they keep running back against their better judgment." Another example of this trend is the newer, non-Gotti R&B single "Addictive" by songstress Truth Hurts, which is more or less a celebration of unreliable, unpredictable, and cruel men.
This at first sounds like an ironic hip-hop counterpart to the ancient tradition in musical theater of "Boy-Meets-Girl, Boy Loses-Girl, Boy-Gets-Girl-Back." But deeper down Irv Gotti and Ja Rule's work is clearly quite a bit more sinister than that of Gilbert and Sullivan. My question is- why the "against their better judgment" part? I know that women have a natural attraction to "bad boys" (though I wish I knew why), but when they fantasize about finding a man who will make them run away and then come back again, how can that lead to anything but self-destruction? Before this mindset was being exploited by hip-hop producers, didn't it have a different name- "Battered Women's Syndrome"? And doesn't the popularity of such music among men indicate that they're just as down with mistreating women through hip-hop as their women are?
Eminem is just proven more and more right all the time- the mainstream media only harps on this sort of thing when he does it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 7, 2002 02:47 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?