Cardi B vs Kanye West
As a big music fan, and someone who is always looking at the pop culture circuit I have begun to notice something that actually really bothers me. To me, today’s society as a whole seems to be very feminist forward. Women hold powerful positions, have more respect, make more money, and have so much more say than ever before. Specifically in the music industry.
There are so many female icons who are dripping in dollar bills. There songs preach about being empowered, wealthy, and in control of their life. Something that even 10 years ago wasn’t the norm. Here are some of my favorite examples.
Cardi B, the famous female rapper that went from the hood straight to the top of billboard’s hot 100 is the epitome of the feminism i’m talking about. In her recent single Money she talks about how rich she is. Stating “I was born to felx, diamonds on my neck” she unapologetically tells the world that she can afford anything, and blatantly claims that she doesn’t need a man when she says “I don’t really need the D, I need money”. This new era of independent women is almost unheard of. Cardi won best rap album of the year on Sunday at the Grammys, just providing to the fact that she is incredibly successful.
With her newest album just dropping last week titled Thank U, Next, it is quite obvious that Ariana does not depend on anyone but herself. This album is coated with songs about being on her own, making her own money, and her journey to self love. All messages we didn’t even get from her last album that just dropped 6 months ago.
Not only did she just win best upcoming artist, but her songs about self empowerment are taking the world by storm. Yet another female performer who isn’t afraid to spout the message that girls too can be in charge, and don’t need a man.
These examples stray far from what we were listening to in the 2000’s. The music at this time from female artists was focused a lot on pleasing men, and needing them. Songs like Brittany Spears Slave for You, that involve her begging for a mans attention, or Destiny’s Child Say My Name that is yearning for male attention we have really come so far.
But I say this in confusion, because yes females are stronger and prouder. But the way male artists picture females, and write about them in music still screams the opposite. One thing that hasn’t changed in the past 10 years is the sexual objectivity that is placed upon women in music. From Flo Rida’s Right Round to Usher’s OMG, the early 2000’s were filled with songs about sexy women, but I would argue it has gotten even worse. Here are some examples.
I Love It by Lil Pump & Kanye West
The line “your such a F****** hoe, I love it” repeats over and over again, all the while Kanye raps about the way he wants to be pleased and how he likes women to look and what they should do.
Taste by Tyga ft Offset
The hook of this song is Tyga letting a girl know “she can get a taste”. The verses filled with things like “lotta girls like me” or more sexually explicit lines like “make the b****** scream”. These are things that we are hear all over the radio that completely\ sexual the same women who are singing about being so empowered.
The hard part about this is that those aforementioned women do sexualize themselves, just look at the pictures. But a big feminist argument is that whether they are sexualizing themselves, it does not give anyone reason to sexualize them. So now we are caught in this two way street. One where we are so progressive and giving females the voice they never had, but also one where so much pressure is put on them to be sexual or have certain body features and look a certain way.
It is like the media is at a constant battle and everyone is playing in to all the sides. Some of the messages are good, some are bad, but all of them are so conflicting. For younger teens listening to this, I feel like it has to cause confusion. And the part that is the hardest, is that musics main goal is for us to enjoy. So I feel kind of fake when I can rap the entire Kanye section of “I Love It” but then the next song on my playlist is Grande’s “Thank U, Next”.