Talk Back: On Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad”
Lupe’s latest video is causing a stir and lots of people are “talking back!” Check it out:
Media Literacy Questions for Bitch Bad:
What is the message of this song?
What values & points of views are represented?
Who is the target audience?
How may different audiences interpret the message differently?
What is omitted (left out) from this message?
In what context was this song created?
What messages do we hear about race and gender?
FAAN co-founder Nuala Cabral compiled a range of twitter reactions to the song/video in this storify. And then there are a series of pieces analyzing “Bitch Bad.” Here are some we recommend:
Blogger daintyblackpegasus wrote a sharp gender critique of the song on Tumblr:
Overall, the issue becomes one of reinforcing patriarchy by making it a man’s place to “protect” a woman by defining her. The surface message is that Lupe is trying to elevate his Black sisters by teaching them to be beyond reproach and more than a regurgitation of what they’ve seen. However, what it really does is place significant blame on women for ever internalizing these images while ignoring patriarchal issues like the men who support the internalization of being hypersexual by women while simultaneously shaming it. (More here)
Ebony’s Jamiliah Lemieux’s had this to say to music critics who dismissed the song as “half-baked conscious hip hop”:
“IT’S BIT ABSURD FOR TWO MEN WHO CAN ENJOY RAP MUSIC WHILE EXISTING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE CULTURE THAT SUSTAINS IT TO DISMISS THE NEED FOR A CONVERSATION ABOUT “B*TCH.” (Read more here.)
Ádìsá Ájámú offered his concerns about men instructing women on their empowerment:
“I love the message in “Bitch Bad” more than the song. And I applaud any brother … But here’s my discomfort: With so much work for brothers to do on themselves within this patriarchal order I am still a bit uncomfortable with men instructing sisters on the finer points of womanhood, no matter how well intended.” (Read more.)
See Lupe discuss his intentions for “Bitch Bad” here:
What do you think? Weigh in. Talk Back. Comment here or go to twitter and tell @LupeFiasco what you think using the hashtag #BitchBad.