I had brought up Lupe Fiasco in class during our discussion of disability and disabling words and terms in hip hop music. I think that Lupe Fiasco is one artist that is very aware of the words that he uses and how he uses them, as well as the message being sent through his songs.
The song that I brought up is "Bitch Bad". The song is about how the term "bitch" is misused and how it means different things to different people. This song is not about disability, but it is about femininity and woman in general.
The song starts with the hook "bitch bad, woman good, lady better, they all misunderstood". He talks about how the word "bitch" is first introduced to young boys through music. In the situation that he makes, a little boy hears a song and his mom is singing along calling herself a "bad bitch", and he makes the connection that the word is an honor to how well his mother acts and dresses and carries herself. He also makes the scenario where young girls here songs where male rappers are talking about how they want a bad bitch, and they focus on the video vixen and what makes her appealing to the men (her skimpy clothes, provacativeness, et cetera), instead of seeing that she is merely a paid actress.
At the end of the song, the young boy and the young girl meet later on in their lives. The boy is disappointed because he feels that the girl is dishonoring his mother, who portrayed herself as a "bad bitch" by being independent and well put together instead of the ideal music video woman. The girl thinks that she is being a "bad bitch" by her actions and how she presents herself, and feels that that is how all men want their ladies to look and act; but their ideas don't match. Lupe uses the line "And he thinks she's a bad bitch, and she thinks she's a bad bitch, he thinks disrespectfully, she thinks of that sexually"
I feel that this song can show us a couple things.
1. Not very Hip-Hop or rap artist is ignorant to the songs that they create.
2. There are many types of words that portray a privleged point of view (sexism, racism, ableism, et cetera)
3. It is very common for artists to misuse words, and for these words to get passed down generations, which makes this type of vernacular so popular.
Within this, I have to admit that just listening to my music library on random for the past couple of days, I have come across SEVERAL songs that have ableist language.
- I Gets Crazy - Nikki Minaj
- Moron - Prof
- ADHD - Kendrick Lamar
- This Girl Crazy - Messy Marv ft. Lil Wayne
- Crazy 1 - Big Sean
Here is the link to the video by Lupe, please check it out!