Hegemony in Chris Brown’s “Loyal” Music Video
Hegemony is a concept stating that one superior social class can dominate a culturally diverse society. The term hegemony was developed by Italian intellectual Antonio Gramsci to broaden Marxist theories of ideology. Dominant ideologies are considered hegemonic, which is when power in society is maintained by constructing ideologies promoted by mass media. The world of hip-hop and rap music videos is a paradigm of hegemony. The hegemonic power of the music industry plays a huge role in the production and distribution of music videos. In Chris Brown’s music video of his hit single, “Loyal” featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga, the overall theme of the song is about unfaithful women. In this music video,…show more content… Brown’s “Loyal” music video displays the hegemonic ideology of masculinity that only benefits the classification of males as a superior social class over females by manipulating societal values and beliefs. In this paper, I will be using James Lull’s essay, “Hegemony”, to discuss Gramsci’s idea of hegemony to analyze Brown’s “Loyal” music video.
Hegemonic masculinity is the practices and attitudes that spread heterosexual male domination over female. The single of “Loyal” opens with Lil Wayne’s rap about his lack of trust in the women he has been with in the past then Brown joins in inputting on the experiences he had with the women of his past by repeating the chorus: “These h--s ain’t loyal”. The lyrics and visuals become illustrative in the derogation of women. The music video features various choreography that is performed by Chris Brown himself along with various female dancers dancing provocatively in revealing clothing. However, in contrast, Brown also performs choreography with male dancers in a powerful style of crunk choreography fully clothed. The difference in…show more content… By manipulating societal values and beliefs, Brown’s “Loyal” music video displays the hegemonic ideology of masculinity that only benefits the classification of males as a superior social class over females. As hegemonic masculinity is the practices and attitudes that spread heterosexual male domination over female, the music video amplifies the message of unfaithful woman through the derogation of women by calling women names such as “hoe” and “bitch”. Male domination is the established norm and the “Loyal” music video reaffirms this power structure through its visual imagery and lyric content. The hyper-consumption of the music industry celebrates the “participatory” music culture that constructs ideologies such as the distrust of women to be the societal norm. Women are objectified and are exploited by mass media through music videos, which causes men to be in power and to secure the consent of the socially subordinated women to a system that only oppresses and subordinate women. The world of hip-hop and rap music videos is an example of hegemony and Chris Brown’s “Loyal” music video depicts the hegemonic control of men as a socially superior class than