Well, my mum certainly doesn’t (almost certainly).
But we’re in the realm of generalisation here.
It’s seems like a bland answer, but there’s definitely going to be some mums out there who totally dig Ice Cube, and probably a few more who think he’s corrupted their kids.
Of course, Ice Cube has a message for those people, that concludes in his distinctive and concise abridgement of Marxist and Freudian literary analysis:
To drinking straight out the eight bottle,
Do I look like a motherfucking role model?
To a kid looking up to me,
Life ain’t nothing but bitches and money.
Which should put a few issues to rest at least.
But why do we assume that mother’s aren’t going to enjoy Ice Cube’s snappy delivery, punchy rhythms, macho posturing and steely rhyme schemes.
Well. Because we stereotype. We assume that a mom, in order to be a mum, has to be soft and gentle and protective. Mum’s can’t like Hip Hop, particularly the less palatable gangsta varieties.
And of course, there is definitely an alienating factor to listening to a stream of misogynist invective that is definitely going to put off a lot of women, mum’s included.
But Ice Cube, like gangsta rap and hip hop as a whole, is now older than a hell of a lot of people that are having kids. There’s gonna be moms and pops all over the world who have grown up with NWA firmly ensconced in their cultural background radiation.
And there’ll even be some who know him as the big guy from those shitty kids films.
So the truth is, that just because your mum doesn’t know who Ice Cube is, a whole lot of everybody does. Mums included.
I think it’s dangerous to think of their as being a category of ‘mom’ who acts and thinks and experiences things a certain way. It puts pressure on people who’ve listened to Hip Hop their whole life to pretend they don’t know who this Ice Cube fellow is, to live up to some cultural yardstick of what a mother should be.
It’s stupid to cling to the understandings of the past, as it stops us being able to react to the present. It stops us from listening to the world around us.
I think it almost represents a worse misogyny than Ice Cube’s posturing, or at least a more underhanded yet pervasive one.
Once you hold a certain kind of woman to act a certain kind a way, whether you want them to be your ‘bitch’ or your ‘mom’ you are acting as an oppressive agent. You do that every time you tell someone what that thing is supposed to be.
Archetypes, in themselves, are dangerous and violent things.
The truth remains, for a second time this week, that people are just people.
Expectations are painful, a lot of the time, so I think you should screw them up and throw them away.
Nobody should look like a motherfucking role model.
Illustration by Maria.