By: Rizoh

       Are you tired of hearing about hip-hop, “hos,” and Don Imus? Well, here’s more for you: A Vanderbilt University professor named Tracy Sharpley-Whiting has made the degradation of women in hip-hop the subject of her new book, Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women.

      The book, issued by New York University Press, eschews the clichéd criticism on rap lyrics but offers an insightful conversation on strip clubs, groupies, and other aspects of mainstream hip-hop, while raising incisive questions about hip-hop’s alliance with the sex industry.

      "As disturbing as I find some of what’s going on around gender in hip hop, there are also things that we need to celebrate," Sharpley-Whiting said. "It’s the soundtrack of black life in the United States, and it’s absolutely astonishing that it became such a cultural force globally. We have to revel in that kind of creativity coming from such a marginalized group."

      She added that any solutions will involve changing society rather than stifling hip hop’s blunt articulation of current events, and charged young women to be “more politically conscious about the choices they make and the opportunities they take.”