What To Do When You Rap Something Stupid

April 11th, 2013 by

Are you an American male rapper who is coming to terms with a massive media backlash over the past few days?

Have you found yourself defending accusations of racism and/or misogyny from not only your enemies, but also your peers?

Are you confused about what to do next?

Do not worry, friend, help is at hand!

For one week only, Poejazzi’s own Bridget Minamore is going to be taking questions from rappers who have done/said particularly stupid shit in their songs in the past week in the first of a series of Agony Aunt blogs. This week: Ray J, Rick Ross and LL Cool J ask Bridget for help when their stupid lyrics get them into hot water!

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Dear Bridget,

I released a new song this week! Yay! This in itself deserves applause, considering the only last track I released that anyone remembers was ‘One Wish’… remember? ‘One Wish’? You know ‘One Wish’! It was off the album ‘Raydiation’* that went Platinum went Gold went Silver did really well did ok back in 2005! Anyway, my new song is called ‘I Hit It First’ and it’s pretty darn catchy. I’m basically reminding EVERYONE that it was ME who had sex with Kim Kardashian FIRST and “she might move on to rappers and ball players / but we all know I hit it first” which is VERY IMPORTANT because I was FIRST therefore I AM GOD and “no matter where she goes or who she knows / she still belongs in my bed” so she’s MINE and SOILED for everyone else because I was FIRST. However, there’s a teeny tiny problem – everyone says I’m being a misogynist! Erm, no, I’m just reminding everyone of the truth! I WAS FIRST! What do I do to get everyone off my back?

Bitter, Desperate and Thirsty Ray J

Dear Bitter, Desperate and Thirsty Ray J,

I feel your pain, boo, I really do… Actually. Scrap that. I don’t. Shut up yo. Do you not see the irony in feeling the need to remind the world that it was you who ‘made’ Kim Kardashian famous using such stupid misogynistic lyrics, when your whole career has been built on the backs of the women in your life? First through your connection with your sister Brandy, then via a strange (romantic?) relationship with the late, great, Whitney Houston, and finally constantly bringing up the fact you had sex with a Kardashian 10 years ago. 10 years. A decade. GET OVER IT. While Kim has undoubtedly profited from the tape, and it was the thing that launched her into the public eye, she has moved on and has become a successful brand and businesswoman in her own right. I know lots of people like to Kim K bash, but I’m not having it. She is paid a lot of money to be herself. Paid to be herself, people – and the best part is, she’s being the ‘self’ she wants to be; it might all be an act and we’re all taken in by it! If that isn’t good business sense then I don’t know what is. Is she a good role model for young girls? Meh, too materialistic for my liking, but it’s never anyone’s job to be a good role model. Nice, yes, but not expected. Kim owes us nothing, folks.

But anyway, back to you Ray J. Essentially, no one should care that you had sex with Kim Kardashian before Kanye West. A woman’s sexual history is not something anyone has the right to throw back in her face, especially someone who is a part of that. The song is a pretty desperate attempt to start some shitty rap beef with Kanye, and while I’m warily expecting him to release ‘I Hit It Last’ or something, I really hope he doesn’t say one word. Women are not property that you can fight with other men over, and it speaks volumes that Kim is reduced to an ‘it’ that you brag to other men about, and you don’t actually really address Kim herself in the song. Hopefully she’ll ignore your pathetic attempt to brag about something wholly unimportant, because she’s got waaaaay better things to do. Like, you know, have a baby with someone else. But what should you do Ray J? Well, maybe it’s time to work on some new music that isnt’t, well, bullshit? Considering, you know, the fact that if it wasn’t for Kim K and the sex you had in 2003 that you KEEP ON TALKING ABOUT, you’d be consigned to that unfortunate, forgotten corner of Hip Hop and R&B with guys like Ja Rule and Mario for company. Good Luck!

Bridget

PS – Bobby Brackins??

*I wish I was joking. ‘Raydiation’ exists.

 

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Dear Bridget,

I’M A BOSS I TALKED ABOUT RAPE I’M A BOSS I SAID “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” ‘COS I’M A BOSS AND NOW PEOPLE ARE ANGRY WHY THEY SO ANGRY? I’M A BOSS I’M A BOSS I’M A BOSS I’M AN IDIOT.

Rick ‘I’M A prison officer BOSS’ Ross

Hey Rick,

So. That lyric? Not ok. Drugging a girl with MDMA before having sex with her while she’s too high to notice? Not ok. Why is that so hard for you to understand? I’m really not going to explain how someone being too drunk/high to give consent = rape, because there’s really nothing else to explain. That’s it. If you or anyone else doesn’t understand a concept as simple as ‘not saying no does not equal saying yes’, then you’re an idiot at best, and a rape apologist arsehole dickwad at best. Got that? But Bridget, I hear you cry, you like Eminem and he talks about rape all the time! You have a whole poem named after a Tyler, the Creator track, and his descriptions of rape are way more graphic than mine! Why aren’t you angry at them too? Well, Rick, I’ll tell you. The long and short of it is that you make ‘date rape’ an easy, normal thing, an attitude that disgusts me. Eminem’s Slim Shady persona? Tyler’s Wolf Haley alter ego? Big L and all his horrorcore stuff? They are playing characters who are clearly psychopaths. I understand why people find any mention of rape repulsive, and I respect that, but Em and Tyler for example have always felt very different to me. When I hear their stuff, their attempt to ‘play’ the part of a psychotic murdering rapist or something comes across either as a metaphor, or at the very most a description of a messed up fantasy that is clearly Not A Good Thing. No one hears a crazy Eminem track and thinks that what he’s doing is super awesome. A guy in a hockey mask wielding a chainsaw mentioning rape, all while discussing getting eaten alive by Liz Claiborne and robbing a bank, murdering a guinea pig in a microwave, breaking his back in a washing machine and pushing people off diving boards? Yeah, I’m not going to take that at face value – it’s not supposed to be serious. That’s not to say it isn’t misogynist (it is) and I love it all (I don’t) – there are definitely certain songs that I can’t listen to because they’re too much for me to handle. So why do I still listen to them? Well, sadly, and simply, we all enjoy problematic shit. I actively have to stop myself hate-reading the Daily Mail, and I know a whole load of people who watch films made by less than wonderful directors…(HINT). However your lyric, Rick? You’re normalising the rape of a woman by dressing it up as something a big boss man like you would do. Back of a limo, bit of Molly in her drink, home to your hotel to have sex and it’s all easy? That is far more disturbing in its realism than some of the insane ramblings of Eminem.

By the way, your non-apology when people called you up on it is probably the most insulting thing of all. “Apologies for the lyric interpreted as rape”? Are you kidding me? Saying sorry that we all apparently got the wrong end of the stick is not actually saying sorry, and you know that. Sigh. I would suggest making a proper apology, a public service announcement about how ‘date rape’ is RAPE FULL STOP and never doing the song ever again, but I have a strong feeling you’re not down for anything that has you admitting you’re the idiot that you are. So, keep on cloggin’ dem arteries and I wish you the very best of heart attacks health!

Bridge xoxo

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Dear Bridget,

I have a fairly successful legacy as a Good Rapper, with tracks in my back catalogue that are considered Rap Classics. However I decided this week to release a song with a country singer called Brad Paisley, about how he ‘accidentally’ offended a black guy in Starbucks by wearing a t-shirt with the confederate flag on it. All we wanted to do was get black people to move on from racism! Is that so wrong? My guest verse has the lyrics “If you don’t judge my doo-rag / I won’t judge your red flag / if you don’t judge my gold chains / I’ll forget the iron chains” and “RIP Robert E Lee but I’ve gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me” and “let bygones be bygones”. I am obviously hugely ill-informed and/or have gone insane. Can you help?

LL Cool J aka that black friend racist white people quote to excuse themselves from racism

Hi LL (and also Brad!),

1 – good intentions are not an excuse to do dumb shit. You might have wanted to ‘spark discussion’ and ‘tackle racism head on’ but if you do that badly? People have the right to call you up on it. Stop saying criticism isn’t allowed because of ‘free speech’ – free speech works both ways son.

2 – the confederate flag is extremely problematic and to suggest it’s not is ignorant at best. While it’s not necessarily the fault of people who just have ‘Southern Pride’, racist groups (including the charming KKK) use the flag as a symbol of white supremacy. Yeah, it sucks when someone makes your nice thing a symbol of racism, but if three of the biggest religions in the world can get over it then so can you.

3 – LL, are you seriously comparing a doo-rag  to the confederate flag? A doo-rag? A harmless head tie is the same as something we have established is extremely problematic? Sigh.

4 – LL, are you SERIOUSLY COMPARING GOLD CHAINS AROUND YOUR NECK WITH THE IRON CHAINS OF SLAVERY??? Decoration, jewellery, that doesn’t harm anyone else, with the chains used to enslave people for no other reason than where they were from? And you didn’t expect people would be hugely pissed off? Here are the facts. White people judging you for what you wear as a black man? Not your problem. White guilt over slavery? Not your problem. And yet, you not only compare the two but also put yourself (and black people as a whole) in a position of apology in both instances. We dress like thugs, sorry, and we keep bringing up racism, sorry again. Say whut?

5 – this kind of post-racial utopia where “the past is the past” that you speak of? Not buying it. The legacy of slavery (and colonialism) is seen today in the institutional racism found in every corner of the globe. If racism were truly ‘over’, then sure, I’d be on board with attempting to ‘move on’. Fact: it’s not. It most likely never will be, at least not in my lifetime. So to try and push people of colour into ‘getting over it’ is not only absurd but massively, massively insulting.

6 – You do realise Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln weren’t perfect when it comes to not being racist, right? Do a few basic Wikipedia searches, please? At least? Before releasing a song about them?

7 – You’ve prompted a whole load of misguided white people into defending the song, and it’s made me hella angry. Stupid comments on the internet saying things along the lines of ‘we all just need to stop talking about racism, then it will stop!’ and ‘we’re all one race, get over it!’ nearly pushed me over the edge. Bro tip: non-white people talking about racism, are not to blame for racism. This is a fact. And not wanting white people to wear confederate flags is not, as some believe, ‘reverse racism’ (which doesn’t actually exist anyway).

Got that? Good. Now, make a HUGE apology, then go take some more acting lessons to secure your role on NCIS: Los Angeles because I think a lot of people still won’t be going near your music again.

Bridget. Sigh.

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And that marks the end of the inaugural What To Do When You Say Something Stupid. Special mention needs to go to Talib Kweli who did write to me but was replied to by the amazing Crunk Feminists much better than I could have done, and A$AP Rocky, who said annoying stuff but my irrational love for his face means I can’t write a blog tearing him apart. Now, let’s all discuss something much more fun the dumb things people representing the genre of music I love so much say – is anyone else super shocked at Kid Cudi’s new album being so brilliant?