Is Keri Hilson too sexy for feminism?

Keri Hilson is widely known in the Hip Hop community as an extremely successful songwriter with many artists contracting her for her skills; Ciara, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and Usher are just to name a few. The subject matter of her songs usually deal along the lines of feminism, sexuality and female empowerment. The songs she writes for others are not only usually commercially successful but  critically successful too. So what is it about Keri Hilson that she’s praised for writing songs like Gimme More but then criticized for her own music?

The most notable criticism of Ms Hilson surrounds her song and accompanying video The Way You Love Me. The edited version features heavy editing and noticeably modified lyrics which was praised by critics. The original and unedited version however was slated by critics stating that Keri is only using sex to sell records. One major example is in the edited version “I got the kind of lovin’ that’ll keep you off the streets”, and the original version “I got the kind of pussy that’ll keep you off the streets”. In one interview (Hot 97’s Angie Martinez) over the criticisms Keri said “I’m just saying what women really think and feel and if I’m gonna be honest about myself, I have to show that side of myself,”.

A lot of the general public have criticized Keri too with a lot of people using words like “hoe”, “skank” and “slut”. What’s interesting to note is that the majority of these criticisms come from men which plays into stereotype that a sexual male in Hip Hop is a “player” whilst a sexual female is a “slut” or a “bitch”. Fighting double standards in Hip Hop seems to be a constant struggle for female artists (other than Keri) with artists like Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim, M.I.A. and to a lesser extent, Kreayshawn.

Personally, I really like Keri Hilson. I think she writes amazing lyrics that help fight the double standard and she has the vocals to go with it. But do you think Keri Hilson is really turning the tables and showing men that women can do the same? Or do you think she’s in fact hindering the opinion of female musicians? DISCUSS THIS IN THE NEW FORUM 


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