I don’t know about you, but calling me a b*tch will do little but get me upset.

Much like the n-word, I never understood how some women “reclaimed” this word and now use it as a term of endearment for their closest friends. Or worse, how a man could fix his lips to call his significant other his b*tch (*cue Jay-Z*). Parsing out the inflection in someone’s voice when they use the b-word takes too much effort, so I don’t use it as anything but a dagger, and even then, I reserve it for only the vilest folks—both male and female alike.

You see, I come from the Latifah School of Queendom, and back in ’94 when I was coming into my own her in-your-face song, U.N.I.T.Y., which challenged any man (or woman) who dared to step to her wrong, became my anthem. Years later it inspired my first foray onto the web. And even today, now that I’m on the other side of 30, it is still is my go-to joint when I need a bit of a pick-me-up.

As an avid hip-hop head it sometimes feels like we’re in an abuse relationship. I love the music that doesn’t quite love me the way I want it to, and too often seems like it is on a mission to break me down. But sometimes artists shine through and remind me why I fell in love with hip-hop in the first place.

This time Lupe Fiasco takes the reins and explains why being the baddest b*tch on the block is a hollow victory.

Check it.

*Via WhoUCallinABitch

  • msmicia

    I. Love. Lupe. Fiasco. The end. Best rapper within this generation hands down. Period.

  • LemonNLime

    This needed more than just a “like” this needed a repeat.

    I. Love. Lupe. Fiasco. The end. Best rapper within this generation hands down. Period.

    100% agreed.

  • chanel

    Wow… great song!! I don’t like anyone ti be called out their name. And he put it straight our generation is confused…

  • Alysia

    I almost didn’t respond but I decided to take a leap of faith in the hopes that others voice their true opinions as well, even if they do fall into the minority category.

    I am a 22 year-old African-American female and I loathe the majority of mainstream music, whether it be urban or pop. I simply fail to understand why the images or vernacular associated with black culture revolve around ass, titties, trappin’, or anything of close relation. I made a conscientious decision some years ago to reject anything (musically-speaking) that doesn’t mind rejecting me (or people like me). Two hours of diligent cleaning resulted in the disposal of CDs from the likes of Kanye, Drake, and the HNIC himself, Jay-Z. In an effort not to bash solely black artists or black men, I didn’t leave out the sex kittens who seem to have nothing but pussy to show for their tenure in the music business: Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and of course Beyoncé. The point of this comment is not to ridicule these artists or to make them public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the black community. It is simply meant to show that some people are very aware of the damning messages that result when sex and degradation are at the forefront of music in lieu of respect and it will not be tolerated; at least not by me. God Bless!

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    i just found out last night that a redbone is the breed of a dog. black folks run around proud to call themselves that too 0_o what is with black women and wanting to be called a dog?

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    wow i thought i was the only one! i’m 21 and i feel the exact same way! a lot of hip hop is ridiculously disrespectful and i can’t believe women are singing along to it. it makes me sad to say this but, i don’t see non black artists treating their women this way. in spanish music they talk about love and wanting to marry a woman,in j pop and k pop they talk about the same things. it seems like black male artists are the only ones making nothing but songs about bitches and hoes and slap a bitch and i just wanna fuck and toot it and boot it. it’s SAD and it’s embarrassing!

  • E.M.S.

    “B*tch bad, Woman good, Lady Better, they misunderstood.” They most certainly did!

    I agree with msmicia, Lupe Fiasco is the BEST. His music is constructive and provokes both the world of hip hop and the black community to reflect on their behaviors. Can’t wait to see more reactions to this song.

    It’s frightening how so many young people truly believe life is about being a “bad b*tch” or a “real n*gga.” How about being an educated, intelligent, and successful person who’s making a positive impact on the world? You know something’s wrong with society when I’m disgusted with my own generation at the ripe old age of 21.

  • MsDiannaT

    I don’t like this video or song for many reasons:

    1. Why is it only addressing the woman and how she needs to respect herself?
    2. Why does it not address all the male rappers that started this whole “b*tch” craze?
    3. Just because a woman want’s to call herself or be called a “b*tch” and dress provocatively doesn’t make her any less than. She could be just as smart or smarter than someone wearing a skirt suit.

    I don’t call myself or my friends bitches because I think it’s disrespectful, but who am I to say it’s wrong for someone else to do that. I see this video as another way for the world to tell women to stop being hoochies and policing our lives so we can raise better children when in reality, irresponsible women are not the biggest issue.

    Btw, I used to love Lupe. Now, not so much. After his comments about the President, I was done.

  • ChillyRoad

    Well lets put our money where our mouth is and support artist like this.

  • ChillyRoad

    Japanese, Korean, and Hispanics comes from some of the most racist, tribal, sexist, and colorist societies on the planet. Their pop music may not reflect the gutter but their culture certainly does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smileypie90 Jordan Hamilton

    I wish more rappers told a positive message through their music like Lupe showed through this song. Very powerful message. He’s back !

  • Ms. Information

    A woman calling herself a bitch i.e. female dog automatically subverts her position…just because males started it doesn’t mean women have to perpetrate it.

  • Ms. Information

    Can’t wait to hear the backlash from the Lil Wayne and Nicki look a likes in the video..lol

  • Really?

    I’m just glad it didn’t take you learning the hard way like so many people do. I have friends who think this behavior is lame only a fantasy. I guess I was raised right but I always looked at it as a crazy fantasy that wasn’t as glamorous as it looked on the screen. I’m in my early twenties too. I hope younger black kids do better than their parents, but it’s hard. I don’t know why black parents think it’s okay for impressionable children to listen to hip hop or watch music videos.

  • NewLook

    Didnt watch the video and probably never will. I dont need Lupe Fiasco telling me whats right vs. what’s wrong…Got my education for that.

  • http://gravatar.com/prxtence Salmon

    The video is very powerful. He likened the caricatures of blackness that is prevalent in mainstream media to black face– emphasizing how both distort and misrepresent black communities, as well as how white supremacy has mediated this misrepresentation. It didn’t just focus on black women respecting themselve, but black people becoming aware of they are being used and abused by mainstream media. The tears and the hesitant allegiance to mainstream media that the man and woman in black face portrayed showed how complicated our relationship is with mainstream media.

  • http://theogk.wordpress.com Kelly Hawkins

    Huh? He is addressing rappers. Did you not see the goon in blackface? In the lyrics he’s focusing on telling a story about a young girl and boy who misunderstand the term due to how the media feeds it to them, but the video is a full on attack on both the rappers and the models in the industry…

    Anyways, I dig this song and video (I’ve seen it so many times today watching MTV Jams). I feel like he simplified his delivery and chose a catchy, club banger beat just so he wouldn’t go over the heads of those people who REALLY need to receive this message. Good job Lupe, and nice dreds.

  • Liquorice

    Its a called a redbone coonhound at that…. Smh

  • http://[email protected] Blackgirlmd

    I liked the message but the song didn’t really flow for me. The video
    was great though. I appreciated the reference to blackface…. We truly are making a mockery of ourselves with some of these antics that we display on TV for the world to see.

  • http://facebook.com/RFahrenhyt R. Fahrenhyt

    Yow!!! As a fellow artist I do music for M’Ladies… Don’t know anything about a Bad @!*#?. My mom is a strong black woman from the caribbean. Nuff <3 on this track Kingman! #LLRGF

  • T.

    The video doesn’t say the woman needs to respect herself, and it does address the male rappers. The second verse of the song is about male rappers and the videos they make and the words they say and the influence that has. The video also shows the male rapper in blackface and in tears, implying that he is part of turning rap music into minstrelsy and selling-out/degrading himself, the artform and his people.

    I didn’t get from the video the overwhelming message that the woman needs to respect herself more. I got the impression that there are a lot of things going on in terms of how popular songs and messages are interpreted, and that they have real-life consequences in terms of how we as black people relate to each other. The little girl grows up to believe that the ultra-sexual video-girl, the “bad bitch” is the model of empowered womanhood, and she seeks to emulate that. The little boy grows up hearing the praise of bad bitches, and somehow constructing and fitting that into the ideal of a woman like his mama. So then when that little boy and that little girl grow up and try to connect with each other, it’s different because they have gotten different messages from popular culture and have interpreted and internalised them in different/conflicting/confusing ways, making it difficult for them to understand and relate to each other in a meaningful way. I means there’s a lot going on in the video in terms of commentary on racism, sexism, pop culture and the influence of the media, the function of family in shaping a person’s life perspectives, the responsibility we have, as adults, to children in our community.

    I think overall the song isn’t about the little girl/woman – Lupe makes it clear that both she and the little boy and young and impressionable and are just picking up and absorbing the messages society sends them. It’s fundamentally a song directed to society and to the folk in popular culture who are producing those messages, and it’s saying “Consider what you’re saying; consider who’s hearing it, consider the message you’re sending and the impact it has.” In that sense it is *exactly* addressing “all the male rappers that started this whole “b*tch” craze”.

  • msmicia

    With all due respect are you responding to this particular sing because if so I’d like you to actually listen to it.he’s responding to all the issues you claimed. If you’re just commenting in the state if most mainstream hip hop then carry on. But if you talking about Lupe yeaaaah he is not one you should be mad at. He’s the only rapper I cosign and as a proud woman if color I applaud him and his efforts to have his artistry maintain some depth respinsibilty and integrity.

  • msmicia

    Hnmmm save the fact that the last pat of your comment makes me decidedly skeptical of your opinion *just because the man is black and in a position of leadership doesn’t mean he’s above criticism* but to respond to the whys your speaking of he DID address both sides quite well if not in lyric in image. But basically he’s making you question why the language and imagery TOWARDS women is accepted by and relished in by said women. I feel the same about all cursing and abusive speech including the ever cherished n word we’ve claimed ad a people. What he’s saying is require more of and for yourself ad a woman. It starts with US. Were the givers of life and the nutiterd if our sins and daughters not a rapper it an actor. All Lupe I’d doing is putting up a mirror to some people’s faces. If you think it isn’t about you then…it isn’t. But don’t throw rocks and one of the few influential black artist trying to elevate the people. He’s only one young man. He can’t single handedly and in one song no less address all the problems that the youth in black America face. But at least he’s TRYING and that why I got mad love for him.

  • msmicia

    Its a big bad world out there and you’re Finns need more than your very expensive education. What this young man is doing through art is to me just as influential and important as what professors do at whatever educational establishment you are currently enrolled. What he’s focussing and so brilliantly paired with black face historical references is enough to take up a while semester course. But of course mist universities care very little about uplifting our race and EDUCATING those who can’t afford to pay for it.

  • ChillyRoad

    If you build it, they will come.

  • Lupe Supporter

    Well since yall love him so much, I hop yall support this brother since Spin Mag is taking a crap on this song calling it “half-baked conscious hip hop”. & that he’s just trying to get attention. They’re casting doubt on this man’s credibility as a conscious person. Pls go on twitter, support him & diss Spin Mag & let them know how you feel!!!

  • simplyme

    I really appreciate hip hop artists like him who aren’t afraid to speak intelligently and stand against the sexist norm. It actually shows more self assurance, power, and masculinity than the rappers who try to shove it down our faces by disrespecting women. I’ve also started listening to Kendrick Lamar who seems to be of the same ilk (not 100% sure..). I stopped listening to hip hop about a year ago and now I’m trying to slowly reintroduce artists like this into my current indie/alternative/90s rnb bubble..but its hard to find. I love the feature and it would be cool if Clutch could feature similar artists in the future.

  • ALE

    I completely agree! I used to love Lupe too, but this video feels a lot like he is blaming women for the proliferation of the word bitch. The little girl is in the wrong and the boy is in the right (or maybe in the wrong because of his mother, yet again blaming a woman). And just because a woman dresses provocatively does not make her any less “respectable.” Just so many problematic themes in the video I could not get over.

    For the record, Lupe claims the use of the word nigga, so its weird that he’s taking such issue with the word bitch. Why doesn’t he see the parallels?

  • melu

    Yes. Yes. A thousand times YESS!

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