“B*tch Bad” is the second single off of Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album. The word “B*tch” has taken on a life of its own, like “N*gger”. Women call themselves b*tches in both negative and positive contexts. They sometimes get offended when men use the word, but are flattered other times and with the rise of these characters on reality TV many love being labeled “B*tch”. How many times have you heard a girl say “I’m a b*tch, so what”? Or something along those lines. It’s all very confusing and funny because I honestly don’t think women get offended by it, I think they get angry because they’ve been told they’re supposed too. I was really excited to write about this just so I can getting all my b*itches out…. B*tch.
For those who may be confused still I’ll give you my interpretation of the song. The first verse deals with a young boy hearing his mom call herself a b*tch while reciting
The second verse deals with young girl watching rap videos on the internet. They’re watching a typical hip hop video full of men posing for the camera and women all over the rappers. The girls hear the rappers calling these women “bad b*tches” therefore they decide that 1. Being a “bad b*tch” is a good thing & 2. the only way to get a man’s attention is to act like the “bad b*tches” she sees in these videos.
Lastly, the boy and girl meet in life and have a clash because the boy is looking for a “bad b*tch” like his mom, or a respectable young woman. And the chick has molded herself into what rappers have told her is a “bad b*tch”. So, he think she’s bad at being a b*tch, like his mom(remember he defines “b*tch” as a respectable, responsible woman). It’s confusing when you hear the song, but watching the video really puts it into perspective.
The video itself does an amazing job bringing the story in the song to life. In ACT II you see their depiction of a typical rap video. You got the dark skinned gangster rapper with grills, gun, car, jewels and light skinned girl all over him. And of course you have the blatant product placement here with “SugarWater”, which is poking fun at the various advertisements in rap videos from Ciroc to Reebok (notice how the can of “SugarWater” ends in the little girls hand as she’s sitting in the theater chair) Like I say, too often I think we give ourselves too much credit thinking the media doesn’t have direct influence on how we behave. The reason oldhheads complain about younger genreations is because the conditioning gets better all the time. The young people we see today are a product of a refined brainwashing process hence the high level of ignorance. Another great point is that it’s a white man making the money off of the whole show, like it is in the rap industry.
The decision to put bring Blackface into the mix was genius. To my knowledge, Blackface is a type of make up used heavily in the 1800s by both black and white actors during minstrel shows. People would put on obnoxiously black make up and act like N*ggers. Being lazy, stupid, ignorant, violent, cowardly and hyper sexualized. I think what we see today in many rap videos, movies and TV shows is the equivalent to the minstrel shows that were popular over 100 years ago. Blackface caused the widespread belief in many fictional stereotypes of African people and most rap videos are used to maintain these stereotypes today. We grow up watching ourselves as N*ggers, violent and sex obsessed in the media and we act the same because we think this N*gger culture is worth embracing, I say if we were properly educated we would know that we come from greatness and can get back there if we wake ourselves up. Lupe isn’t telling us not to say “b*tch” he was trying to help spark different conversation and I think that could help all of us.