What Do Rappers and Horror Writers Have in Common?

Every time I hear a rap song with a touch of misogyny, I turn a blind eye. It’s not because I am anti-feminism, but because I know that the person singing it doesn’t necessarily condone those things. It depends upon the rapper I’m sure, but from my experience, it doesn’t reflect the lyricists own beliefs. Rap is known for exploiting women and sometimes violent wordsmithery. It’s just a form of art, whether we like the message or not. It’s a therapeutic release of sorts for the artist, and isn’t meant to be taken as a guideline for living.

I know there are some people who think that rap artists (and this isn’t confined to rap) are promoting an unsavoury lifestyle and that they actually do the things they sing about. The same goes for horror writers.

Horror does exploit women. It often portrays them as meek sexified victims who run away, tripping over their high heels. It depicts violence. Some might argue that people are going to do these things. However, the copy-cat movie killers are next to nonexistant last I checked. We have the same stigma to overcome by making people believe that we’re normal people who like to scare people (or sometimes *be* scared–If my own stories scare me then I know it might have the same effect on others).

When I write about someone getting his or her face slashed off piece by piece with a razorblade, I’m not condoning that behaviour. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying that I want to do those things. I mean, OK, yeah, sometimes you really feel like squirting lemon juice into someone’s open wound. And salting it to taste. And taking a big bite. But hey, there are lots of people who *aren’t* horror writers who have that fantasy. Am I right? Am I right? *crickets chirping* Ohhhhkaaaaay, so let’s move on.

The point is, just because someone sings about things doesn’t mean that person believes it. It doesn’t mean that they’re really living that lifestyle. It’s an image. It’s the same way that a horror writer promotes him- or herself by posting pieces of the macabre on Facebook and writes stories with gore that goes beyond your most devilish nightmare.

Rap and horror are both forms of artistic release. I’m always surprised when people find out my musical tastes lie more in hip hop than black metal, but at a closer glance, the whole goth/horror movement is just as widely misinterpreted as rap. Maybe I feel some common bond of sorts in that aspect.

Then again, maybe I really just dig a groovy beat.


4 Comments on “What Do Rappers and Horror Writers Have in Common?”

  1. I think that some writers… and some rappers, are at times writing based upon experience, even if the originally autobiographic material becomes fictionalized. It is like Mary Shelley, who was despondent over miscarriages when she wrote Frankenstein, or Edgar Allen Poe over the loss of his wife Virginia, who some think was the inspiration for Annabelle Lee…

  2. Yep. Not sure everyone understands that you, the writer, doesn’t necessarily want to do everything that characters — particularly the villain — do in the story. My last horror novel opens with a woman getting raped by a werewolf. So I can’t really give rappers who sing about girls at the club dancing like strippers too much grief!

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