For his latest single What A Night, featuring Tellaman and Kwesta, DJ Dimplez dropped a cover art for the single that shows a young lady being carried out by DJ Dimplez as she slumps over to hold on to a bottle of alcohol. In reference to the song title, the two seem to be walking through a dodgy alley as they leave the club, trying to portray a lit night. Unwittingly, this image also perpetuates rape culture in a country with one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women and children.
After social media backlash, DJ Dimplez immediately released a sincere apology to the public; “With the release of my latest single What A Night, it has been brought to my attention and realisation that the supporting artwork calls to mind rapists’ stereotypes.
My team and I strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously. Upon receiving feedback from fans and the social media community, we took immediate action to have it removed from the single’s listings. I sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended by the artwork. With the artwork, my intention was to never promote the senseless rape culture nor that of taking advantage of women.
It is extremely important to me and to my team that whatever material we produce is inclusive, does not incite violence and is always respectful to our audience.
Any failure of that I will act to work on immediately, while revision to the artwork has already been made.
The offensive artwork will be removed from all supporting visuals to the single release. I am deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused.”
This is a lesson not only to DJ Dimplez, but the local Hip-Hop culture as a whole should also learn from this. Too often has the South African hip-hop ignored the continuous stereotypes that feed into rape culture, from the industry’s silence on Okmalumkoolkat’s sexual assault to this ”I think this mommy got potential, I think this molly got me bustin’ out the friendzone, drop it in the champagne like a Mentos, we in the lobby but your body is a temple” AKA line on Anatii’s The Saga. There a numerous examples of the Hip-Hop community turning a blind eye to instances of rape culture within the culture.
Hip-Hop needs to take a hard look at itself, hold itself to a higher standard and take responsibility for the rape culture that continues unabated. Through its immense influence on youth culture, hip-hop can be used as a tool to bring about social change to the growing scourge of sexual violence against women and children.