Bitch Bad – Lupe Fiasco
After reading Ann Powers “Spy in the House of Love”, Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad” was the first song that came to mind.
In the first verse of the song, Lupe Fiasco uses an imaginary situation of a little boy listening to his mother sing along to the radio to illustrate how casual use of the word “bitch”, especially by women themselves, can lead to misunderstood perceptions of the word and its connotations.
The second verse explores how objectification of women in music videos can have a negative influence on young girls, mentioning that “they don’t see a paid actress, just what makes a bad bitch”. In other words, these young girls have come to associate the image of a “bad bitch” – a promiscuous young woman – with their “favorite singer”, and assume that this is what they should aspire to become.
Finally, these two perspectives are brought together in the third verse when “the little boy meets one of those little girls” and their contrasting misconceptions of the word “bitch” collide. The boy has grown up associating the term with his mom, whom he respects, whereas the girl sees it as representing a sexual ideal, which is the “normal thing” for a girl to aspire to be. Fiasco makes a play on the phrase “bad bitch” by implying that the boy sees the girl as a “bad” example of a “bitch”, which in his eyes means “woman”. Due to this, he is uninterested in her sexually; ironic considering that it was in an attempt to appeal to men that she covered up her “nice and smart” personality with a “bad bitch” facade. Fiasco notes the double meaning that the word holds even for the girl: it can be an insult “if you say it the wrong way”, yet she still aspires to become a “bitch” herself.
This made me think of the way some women view themselves and gender in music. I have plenty of girl friends who of course disagree with the messages in today’s hit music (regarding the topic of women as materialistic items), but they continue to listen to this type of music out of pure enjoyment. It makes me question how much society has influenced our thoughts, and narrowed our minds. Sex sells because we allow it..
Keep Ya Head Up- 2Pac
Still within the same retrospect, I can’t help but put up “Keep Your Head Up” by 2Pac. Hip-Hop especially is credited with the objectifying of women and since we’re all tired of listening to that, how about something that focuses on empowering our women struggling with everyday life. I’ll let the song speak for itself on this one.