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Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women Paperback – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814740642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814740644
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Sharpley-Whiting gets at the heart of the paradox . . . and puts the discussion on the turntable.”
-Washington Post

,

“Sharpley-Whiting’s book does not suffer from the sort of cowardice one too often hears from black academics who genuflect to hip hop in order to stay current with the tastes of the students who provide them with whatever power they have on college campuses. Sharpley-Whiting calls them as she sees them and wisely quotes the offensive material when necessary. Her book is high level in its research and its thought, and those looking for adult ideas about the subject should look it up.”
-Stanley Crouch,New York Daily News



"Sharpley-Whiting’s uncommon perspective is one that deserves to be examined more often."

-Bitch,

"Pimps Up, Ho's Downis an ambitious project that engages, rather than skirts, the complicated domain of sex, gender, power and hip hop. The book is extremely readable and suitiable for a variety of audiences."
-Valerie Chepp,Cultural Sociology

“Sharpley-Whiting unmasks thought provoking socio-political commentaries concerning sexual obsession in rap music and its effects on the black female sense of self.”
-Allhiphop.com

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About the Author

T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting is Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University, where she also directs the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies and serves as Director of the W. T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies. Author of four books, she was described by cultural critic and scholar Michael Eric Dyson as a rising “superstar” among black intellectuals and “one of the country’s most brilliant and prolific racial theorists” in the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002. She has also co-edited three volumes, including The Black Feminist Reader.


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Louis E. Mcfarland on May 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sharpley-Whiting's accessible prose style and unique insight make this a must for anyone interested in popular culture, hip hop and rap, women's issues, Black popular culture, and youth. In all my years researching the topics of rap music, hip hop culture, gender and violence, I have never encountered such a unique and much needed approach. While much has been said about the sexist and homophobic nature of rap lyrics, very little has been done to understand how our sexually repressive, yet permissive, society including rap music has negatively affected Black girls and women. Sharpley-Whiting tackles this issue from a variety of angles demonstrating how the misogyny and sexual obsession in rap music impacts girls' and women's sense of self, how sex and rendering women as sexual objects in rap music affects Black women erotic dancers, video dancers, and groupies, and related topics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy E. Kaherl on June 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This work of T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting is an interesting dialogue on the effects of hip-hop culture on the lives of young black women. The book is a well-researched back-story on visual stimulation and power women's bodies have in hip-hop culture. The book focuses on the bodies of women as they are portrayed in videos, films, Internet, and strip clubs. It offers new thoughts to women's sexuality, pleasure, beauty, and labor outside a conservative space. The contribution of hip hop is important as it reveals motivations towards body, sex, and the realms of abuse and control. There are great facts and great resources to anyone interested in contributing to the conversation of the future of hip-hop and women.

Where I begin to struggle with this book is when it focuses solely on the images of women and offering no solutions or suggestions on what can be done to help motivate change. It left me with questions of what can we do to help change future generations perception of the body, feminism/womanism, and hip-hop. I had a hard time believing that nothing could be done and that the future of hip hop would still be dominated by images of women rather than other entities such as voice, activism, or political motivation. I was hoping that there would be some motivation towards change rather than just facts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
PIMPS UP, HO'S DOWN: HIP HOP'S HOLD ON YOUNG BLACK WOMEN offers damning evidence about hip hop's underlying racial and social prejudices, examining the politics of gender and providing a feminist's perspective and insights into black music's underlying message. One would expect - and receive - a focus on lyrics - but also scrutinized is how black women are displayed in music videos, film, TV and on the internet, making for an important analysis well suited to any college collection with strong music or social issues sections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Patrick on November 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I think this book is an excellent introduction for readers like myself who have little experience or knowledge of hip hop feminism or black intellectuals. The book has a clear writing style with tons of references to other writers and academics. Readers who are not new to these topics may find the book a bit elementary for them.

I question the use of some of the studies the writer used as proof of certain trends--I did not follow up and read the studies, but they didn't seem to be relevant. For example, she used an HIV study to show the effects of hip hop on young women-or the consumption habits of young women- I can't remember.

I wanted to know why women, and the author, continue to support the hip hop industry. The book did not provide an answer.

Ultimately, I was left with more questions than answers--which I don't think is a bad thing, I just wonder what the author wanted me to take away from this work.
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