Written by Nicole
There’s some whores in this house.
There are also some hypocrites in this house too, though.
The music video for WAP (Wet A$$ Pu$$y) by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion was released a few days ago and it has triggered all manner of reactions from the masses. I am included in said masses, as I will be going through a few of my thoughts on the video, as well as the reactions I’ve seen online.
I do not listen to rap or hip-hop, regardless of if the performer is male or female. As a genre, it should go straight in the garbage, sum total. I don’t think enough gravitas is attributed to how horrible a genre it is, and the toxic fruits that are borne of that low-vibrational tree. And yet, any time someone seeks to speak against it, from C. Delores Tucker to any nonblack detractor, from the genre’s inception to now, they are struck down with a chorus of being anti-black and/or racist, depending on who is criticizing. “It is our culture!” they claim, as the latest rapper rhymes “snort cocaine” with “more champagne” with music videos full of questionable, or downright actively harmful imagery. Rapping about murdering people is fine, as long as the chorus is catchy and the beat is fire. The thing is, sadly, this is what the culture has been allowed to become. And that’s the problem.
We all by now are used to the hypersexualized imagery that is produced by the rap and hip-hop industry. There is nothing more that can really be said about it at this point. Do I like the imagery in WAP? No. Nor do I like the lyrics. Not because black males have gotten away with our debasement means that we should just skip the middle man and debase ourselves. Not because rappers love to talk about their mediocre penises means that we should join in and speak of the well-hydrated nature of our vaginas. I may be a prude, but I don’t find it empowering in the slightest. Sexual violence has been rapped about for decades, and it was horrible then and it’s horrible now. “Beating the pussy up” is regarded as the goal, rather than what sounds like a precursor to a visit to the gynecologist. The opioid epidemic is for white folks, except when Percocet, Molly and that booger sugar gets referenced in song. Bill Withers died earlier this year, so instead of Lean On Me, we can have lean with a side of an accidental overdose. Now with the age of the internet, the lyricism has gotten even worse. Now all rappers have to do to find fame is rap with dry oatmeal and old cinnamon in their mouth, and let the praise and millions roll in. Overall, I hate the video. But that’s not the topic I aim to discuss today.
Much like I did last month, this post will discuss the ever-present hypocrisy the black community upholds.
The lyrics in WAP are vulgar and crude. I don’t deny that. I admit I laughed a bit at Cardi’s line about the dangly thing in the back of her throat. It’s a uvula. But nothing rhymes with uvula so for the sake of lyricism I guess she had to make it work. But that’s not the point. The imagery is trash, but it’s nothing new there either. By nature of being a tall black woman with money and in the public eye, Megan would have faced disrespect regardless of her attire. So let’s not pretend here. But you know what does pop up every time a video like this comes out?
What about the children?!
Yes, the lyrics are crude, but come on now. Year on year there have been FAR WORSE lyrics promoting even WORSE behaviors from the mouths of black males, and I couldn’t hear any complaints about it over the daily, nay, hourly repeats on Power 105.1.
Let’s have a look at only SOME of the lyrics that have gotten mainstream airplay or notoriety, with what the lyrics were promoting:
U.O.E.N.O – Date Rape
“Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it
I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”
One Less Bitch – Gang Rape and Murder
Because she knows I’m not to be fucked with
She ain’t crazy
Fuckin’ with Dre should be pushin’ up daisies
She was the perfect ho’ but what do you know
The bitch tried to gag me
So, I had to kill her
Yeah, straight hittin’
Now listen up and lemme tell you how I did it
Yo, I tied her to the bed
I was thinking the worst but yo I had to let my niggas fuck her first yeah
Loaded up the 44 yo
Then I straight smoked the ho’
“Shoutout to my weed man/ Shoutout to my lean man” – Lil Wayne
MDMA got you feeling like a champion – Jay-Z
Others are, or were, literal pimps, yet are nigh on canonized now – Snoop Dogg
And others take their name from drugs, weapons or acts of violence – Lil Xan, Tech N9NE, Pimp C…and so on.
Wasn’t Nipsey Hussle in a gang or something? Yet he is revered and a pox on the houses of anyone who dares criticize his actions in life. Murals have been painted in his memory. Meanwhile Megan taking her stage name from a slang term for a tall woman means that she deserved to get shot. And her rap lyrics, height, and wig color precludes her from any kind of protection. But Nipsey’s rap lyrics were just words:
“My nigga why you come ’round here?
Knowing you ain’t from ’round here?
That’s how you get robbed and shot
Lil niggas they got guns ’round here
‘Cause niggas die young ’round here
So you better get off the block”
(Chorus from the song “I’m From”)
The marathon continues, though, I guess. Megan’s lyrics means she’s the scum of the earth. Am I getting this right? It’s hard to keep up with the goal posts moving so much.
Miscellaneous misogyny – literally any rap song from the inception of the genre to now. The words bitch and hoe especially can be used in place of commas and semicolons to break up verses.
There have been raps with titles containing the words executioner, torture, and references to beating women…but Cardi and Megan getting compensated for their WAP is unspeakable.
But raps that glorify gang violence, drug use, serving prison time, participating in drive-bys, and the list goes on, those are okay. The silence implies they are, anyway.
But the nanosecond a black woman dares to own her sexuality and even benefit from it, now everybody cares about the children. We see this here, and we’ve seen this a lot lately with the rise of women profiting off Only Fans. Bear in mind, I don’t care for Only Fans and the like, either. Males didn’t start complaining about sex work until they saw the dollar value it was making (because, as usual, women talk too damn much, but that’s another story). The money isn’t coming out of their individual pockets, but it’s still a problem, of course. Why? Because the women who have the Only Fans accounts benefit directly (no pimp intermediary, for instance), and now all of a sudden, it’s what about the kiiiiiids?!
What about the kids?
One look at the black community and it’s easy to see that no one cares about the kids, and it’s not an errant titty or bouncing ass or CGI nipple fountain that did them in.
All this (faux) widespread concern about Cardi and Megan and harmful lyrics were nowhere to be found when any of the above rappers rhymed, used, popularized or sold Percocet or whatever the drug du jour is today. But of course, it’s ingrained cultural hypocrisy, where black women must be chaste virginal angels adorned in white…until it’s time to throw that ass in a circle and twerk, heaux!
While the reaction to the video was the loudest hypocrisy, it certainly wasn’t the only hypocrisy…
Once more, (some) black folks showed where their priorities lie as a result of this music video. A Change.org petition was started to remove Kylie Jenner from the video. This petition was started on the video’s release date, (August 7th) and at the time or writing (August 8th), it is less than 500 signatures away from 50,000 supporters. In the grand scheme of things, does this matter? Not really. But samples from the comments on the video are making this out to be some huge horrible thing that Kylie took a liberal shit on.
“I was enjoying the video even as someone who isn’t a Cardi fan; however, when the white woman with no talent appeared I began dry heaving uncontrollably. Something about the presence of such an entity during such a moment… I am simply allergic.”
“Because keep this woman out of black spaces.”
One comment that I really raised my eyebrows at was this one:
“It’s time to end the Kardashian reign of terror on black culture”
Is the WAP music video black culture? And why are the Kardashians so good at profiting of black culture anyway? They are vultures of it, and yet, we, as the creators of it, can’t seem to moderate who can and can’t benefit. Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they’re no fools. And why is Kylie’s surgically enhanced appearance in the video such an affront to said culture? If people uphold this video as something that is culturally valued and its integrity is in need of such protection, it is no shock that the community looks the way it does, either.
This rapid mobilization is only activated for trivial causes though. Nary a petition with as much traction for children murdered in Chicago weekend gun violence, or even for laptops so they can enroll in virtual post-pandemic schooling. How odd.
Once more, the Black Folks Scale of Who Is Black Today has been tipped again when it comes to Cardi B. When she called black women roaches back in the day, she wasn’t black, but in the music video, I guess she is? If we are going to yank people in and out of blackness all willy-nilly, can we at least agree to claim people whose presence are a net positive? Cardi’s invitation to the Cookout adds no value…especially when she will say something sideways three days from now and her invitation will be revoked once more.
Why does any of this matter? Chances are, if you read this blog, you do not identify with the lyrics or the rappers present in the song. I sure don’t. I myself am not pro-heaux. This video is gross, the lyrics are gross, and I am so tired of having this conversation. The only pro-anything I am at this point is aggressively, selfishly, and unabashedly pro-me. Getting in a tiff over how other black women make their money does not serve me. My goal is to move in such a way that whatever the new negative black female image is (because it’ll come, it always does), it doesn’t affect me personally. I am, however, anti-hypocrisy. Plus, everybody else can have their double standards, therefore so can I. I can exist in a place where I hate the video, yet recognize Cardi and Meg’s right to make such a video and profit off their sexuality, even though I hate the imagery. I can wish this sort of promo would stop, AND call out the rampant hypocrisy that resulted from this 5-minute clip. All at the same time!
Even so, by nature of the frequency of images like these, or the warrior, or the protestor, or the perpetually destitute black woman on the news facing joblessness, an eviction notice, or unsupported with 5+ children, we all get painted with the same broad strokes. This may present itself with phrases like “I thought all black women knew how to twerk”, or being mistaken for sex-workers on vacation. This may manifest as being rejected for that promotion over thoughts that you would stir the pot a little too much because of other black women’s social justice warrior tendencies. Now more than ever it’s time to prioritize yourself, and move in such a way that benefits you, regardless of the WAPs that show up.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.