Killing a Bad Bitch
I usually put the videos at the end of the post but I want to give you guys the option of watching it first (unless you’ve already seen it), and then read my interpretation. Pay attention to the lyrics and the cinematic elements of the video if you decide to watch it now.
Lupe Fiasco- Bitch Bad
Lupe’s Bad Bitch song and video illustrate how the media of today’s society has a negative overall influence on our culture, and teaches children at an early age that it’s okay to degrade women. It also shows how the male role model that is so prevalent in the media today, is an image of personified ignorance that actually misrepresents what a grown black man should strive to be (at least by my interpretation). By analyzing the cinematic elements of this video, it’s easy to understand the overall goal and message of this post.
-And just as a side note I do not use profanity in my blog or even say the word “bitch.” If you view some of my previous posts I usually write it like “b****.” So I’m sorry if it offends anyone. If I’m discussing similar topics there may be more posts like this one that are exceptions because the word “bitch” is the main topic.
Lupe’s video is an artistic expression of real life elements and social issues. There are several elements represented by the metaphor of the theater. It illustrates how we who absorb this content, watch music videos, BET, MTV, etc, are really an audience in a big show- “show” as in fictional, not reality. Also, it shows how the white man who owns the theater is really making all the money off of us feeding into this imagery- artists who display themselves as ignorant, violent, and promiscuous. This paints a perfect picture of how some members of society who are part of the upper-class benefit from low class behavior. It’s the low class mentality that arises from the constant viewing of this content that keeps us trapped in our current state.
So while we are making a fool out of ourselves, being bitches, niggas, and thugs, because of something we saw on TV, the record label is sitting back ballin’ and laughin’ at our silly behinds.
I also liked how the theater was used to show how the little kids are also a part of this audience and they are going to try and emulate what they see on stage (or screen). In Act 1 of the video, the scene with the little boy showed how children are easily influenced. Not only are they influenced and form ideas and judgements based on what is seen in the media, they are also influenced by their parents or others who they look up to and their responses to the media. It’s even possible that the media is actually more influential in the developmental years of childhood. If you take anything and dress it up with lights and effects and make it look ‘cool,’ then children who are vulnerable because they are finding their identity and trying to feel cool and fit in, will try to imitate what’s popular. What’s worse is that adults are often just as influenced by the media as kids! The number of FULL GROWN WOMEN who can literally call themselves a bitch really shocks me. Back when I was in school, “bitch” was a fighting word, ESPECIALLY if a guy was calling a girl that. It’s sad that today some women take it as a compliment.
Act 2 is what really hit me hard. When I saw the little girl beginning to dance and act like the video girl I was like WOOOW. It really tripped me out, I don’t know if anyone else had the same response that I did but it really put things into perspective for me. When the rapper on stage was saying:
That’s all I want and all I like…”
…it really showed how that can affect the logic of girls and young women. If they see that this type of woman (a bad bitch in all her glory) is the only preference of someone they admire, like a “cool rapper,” then they might have the tendency to imitate that. That’s something else he expressed well in the song, which brings me to my next point.
Act 3 shows the result of what happens when children grow up with this type of mentality. Lupe shows a perspective of the guy not wanting the girl because of how he feels about his mother who he considers to be a bitch. I want to talk about another more common perspective. Many young black men chase after women who best reflect the bad bitch image. And what’s worse, in my opinion, is that ALL WOMEN, especially black women, get referred to as bitches. I don’t know about y’all, but last time I looked in the mirror I didn’t see a bitch. This word should not be used as a “compliment” for a specific type of attractive or desirable woman, and it definitely should not be used loosely as a general term for women. But as long as we continue to support this type of music, and allow the music industry to brainwash kids as well as many adults into thinking this way, we are also supporting the constant degradation of women. We have so much more power and voice now through social media and the internet, yet we still seem to swallow up what ever is fed to us no matter if it’s right or wrong.
The last thing I want to point out is the blackface imagery used throughout the video. It illustrates how many music artists are being used in a similar fashion to those who appeared on stage during the 19th century and also displayed negative stereotypes of black people. Blacks followed white actors and participated in the blackface minstrels by painting there faces black, lips red, and acting foolish. They were being used to humiliate and degrade their own people. Similarly, the rappers and video girls of today’s society are put in front of an audience portraying negative stereotypes that humiliate and degrade black people. During the blackface era, African Americans were depicted as unintelligent, arrogant free men, dandified coons, happy-go-lucky plantation workers, and women were shown as either a mulatto overcoming her truly black identity or a sassy, argumentative, Aunt Jemima type of character. In the same way, we are now portrayed as thugs, hoochies, ghetto, violent, argumentative, unintelligent, poor, promiscuous, hoodlums, niggas, bitches, etc….
To sum it all up, the saddest part about all of this is that as long as we continue to sit in the audience and absorb all of this negativity, we will continue to see ourselves the way we are being portrayed. The worst thing about the “blackface of music videos” is how much this has lowered the self-perception of blacks in America. More than any other culture, black people accept and embrace negative stereotypes as self-identity. It goes to show how powerful the influence of media truly is.
So…. Do you still want to be a bad bitch? Hopefully not after reading this. I really encourage everybody who reads this post to comment below and help me think of ways we can “kill” this bad bitch mindset so the next generation of girls wont grow up being called bitches. <3 PEACE
Check out this website: Blackface! Read the short paragraph at the bottom under the section: Blackface in Music Videos.