“Bitch Bad” – Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco is back, and he does not fail to impress.
Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Hip-Hop Album Pt.1 was released on September 25th, 2012 to critical acclaim, and as a huge fan I could not be happier to have him back. His last album, Lasers, was a decent album but lacked much of Lupe’s conscious roots seen in Food & Liquor and The Cool. F&L 2 represents a return to Lupe’s old self, and although at times the production values are below par for todays industry, the ideas Fiasco lays out in the album more than make up for it.
“Bitch Bad” is one of two singles released off of the album (the first being “Freedom Ain’t Free,” featured as our first song on OST!). Fiasco has stated his displeasure with how the word bitch is used in todays music in a few songs in the past, such as “Hurt Me Soul,” (Food & Liquor). “Bitch Bad” strengthens his position on the subject, and very concisely lays down why he believes “Bitch” should stop being used in music.
Artists like Lil’ Wayne and Nicki Minaj have perpetuated this trend, but the use of “bitch” in Hip-Hop is not new. Rappers since the early 90’s have been using the word to denigrate women for years, and although artists such as Queen Latifah have challenged this trend “bitch” has become a mainstay of modern rap.
“Bitch Bad” is an incredible song not because of it’s position or its content, but because of the accuracy and clarity with which Fiasco tells his story. Following a young man and woman through their lives, Lupe shows how they are affected by the artists they listen to that use “bitch” to describe the women they seem to want so badly. Women that dress in skimpy clothing and display themselves as little more than sex objects. To think that this message is affecting us is only natural when musicians have always been role models. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis have shown us that music has the ability to “corrupt” young people. Only those people weren’t belittling women and glorifying murder.
In addition, the music video tackles the fascinating but tragic issue of Blackface perfomers and their modern day equivalent: gangster rappers. The video shows a white man counting money, while a black man with a grill and a gun cries as he wipes blackface off of himself. The message is clear, and although I’m not sure I agree with the stereotype, I do think the point is valid. I’ll leave that for discussion in another post.
Lupe Fiasco is yet another Hip-Hop artist who demonstrates that good rap can have a great message. We can only hope that his message will reach as many people as possible, but somehow I think Lil’ Wayne’s next single will probably sell more copies than Lupe will. Only you can change that though!