being a mom
Bitch, Bad: When Rap Music Forces Us To Confront Misogyny
Iâ€™m a mother of four kids, and a fan of hip hop and rap. Iâ€™m also white. Iâ€™m also middle-class. I say the above to illustrate where the points Iâ€™m about to make stem from in regard to Lupe Fiasco’s new video for Bitch, Bad. A young black man will have a different perspective on things than I do. An African American woman of my age will have a different perspective. I can only speak from my perspective, as a Caucasian, middle-aged woman who has a strong affinity for hip hop music. Yes, every genre of music is for everyone and just because Iâ€™m old, white and a chick doesnâ€™t mean that I canâ€™t like what I like, but when discussing the video for Bitch, Bad it can help to shed light on how I interpret it.Â A few days ago, Chicago-born hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco released the first video from his upcoming CD release Food and Liquor Part Two. And basically broke the internets.
Brandon Soderberg,Â a blogger for Spin magazine, takes Lupe to task for â€œmansplainingâ€ (A term used to describe men who condescendingly explain about something that mostly concerns women) the word â€œbitchâ€, its cultural, sexual, and historical context in popular culture in Fiascoâ€™s video.
Â Like Todd Akinâ€™s ridiculous and insulting statements regarding women and their magical uteruses and how women can shut down pregnancies that are a product of rape, Fiasco has thrown the word â€œbitchâ€ out there and itâ€™s been interesting to see what the internet and media does with it.
A lot of women have reclaimed the word â€œbitch.â€ We use it to describe ourselves, our friends, we read a magazine entitled with the word. And even though it at times has come to mean a woman who is strong and smart and unafraid to speak her mind, it also, at times, is still used as an incredibly derogatory insult directed at women who are strong, smart and unafraid to speak their minds. Bitch can be synonomous with queen or synonomouys with skank. And Lupe Fiasco is challenging us to take a harder look at the word.
In the video, Fiasco illustrates a young boy of about four or five with his mother, a woman singing along with the radio about being a â€œbad bitchâ€ and he raps:
Â Couple of things that are happeninâ€™ here
First heâ€™s relatinâ€™ the word â€œbitchâ€ with his mama, comma
And because sheâ€™s relatinâ€™ to herself, his most important source of help,
And mental health, he may skew respect for dishonor
Verse two then goes on to illustrate a group of young girls watching music videos on the internet :
Â Yeah, now imagine a group of little girls nine through twelve
On the internet watchinâ€™ videos listeninâ€™ to songs by themselves
It doesnâ€™t really matter if they have parental clearance
They understand the internet better than their parents
Now being the interent, the contentâ€™s probably uncensored
Theyâ€™re young, so theyâ€™re maleable and probably unmentored
A complicated combination, maybe with no relevance
Until that intelligence meets their favorite singerâ€™s preference
â€œBad bitches, bad bitches, bad bitches
Thatâ€™s all I want and all I like in life is bad bitches, bad bitchesâ€
Now letâ€™s say that they less concerned with him
And more with the video girl acquiescent to his whims
Ah, the plot thickens
High heels, long hair, fat booty, slim
Reality check, Iâ€™m not trippinâ€™
They donâ€™t see a paid actress, just what makes a bad bitch