This story may contain some words that make you put your hand to your chest like above.
Let’s start by establishing the fact that I am not a fan of the music of Cardi B. or Meghan Thee Stallion. I’ve probably intentionally listened to three or four of their songs combined. Their music, including the new single, WAP, isn’t made for me, and I’m good with that.
Joseph Biden’s historic Vice-Presidential choice, Kamala “Comma-La” Harris, wasn’t on the top of my list of Presidential candidates and is far from perfect. One or two other candidates had platforms that aligned more closely with mine. And that’s okay, too.
Side note: quick shout out to all my Jamaicans, AKAs, HBCU grads, South Asians, aunties, and flat wrap aficionados strutting and feeling represented in this moment.
And you may be thinking, “Darius, what does a song about vaginas have to do with the Presidential race?”
But because we live in such a misogynistic society, it’s pretty simple to make a connection.
While my Hip Hop preferences skew on the Rakim to Nas to Kendrick Lamar side (I wrote an ode to Rakim in my book,) I may or may not have experienced quite a few songs in my life that traffic in sexually suggestive lyrics. And by that I mean nasty.
If you were born any time after music was created, then you’ve heard, nodded your head to, gotten in trouble for and probably danced raunchily to any number of these songs.
But for some reason, folks are acting like they’ve never heard Pull Up To My Bumper, Put It In Your Mouth or My Neck, My Back. Hell, even my dad’s Sexual Healing is about…sex.
Since the release of WAP and its colorful video, and once it seemed like Kamala was going to be Joe’s pick, we’ve gotten a lot of commentary, think-pieces, tweets and long ass Instagram posts that seemed to have been written by groups of Puritans looking for witches to burn.
They lamented the purity of women. They cautioned against the effect the song will have on the youth.
How dare these women talk about their bodies like they were theirs and sex as if they liked it?
Just a few weeks before the now infamous song dropped, the DMX/Snoop Dogg Verzuz battle garnered 1.75 billion impressions. But, of course, Snoop and Dark Man X are from an era of lyrical purity. There’s no way their lyrics could ever describe such private behavior. Right?
I chose some lyrics at random on purpose. Let’s see what these gentlemen had to say, shall we?
Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks
Lick on these nuts and suck the dick
Get’s the fuck out after you’re done
And I hops in my ride to make a quick run
Make you wanna eat bitches, but not me
Y’all niggas eat off the plate all you want but not D (uh)
I fuck with these hoes from a distance
The instant they start to catch feelings
I start to stealin’ they shit
Then I’m out just like a thief in the night
I sink my teeth in to bite
You thinkin’ life, I’m thinkin’ more like, whats up tonight?
When I met you last night baby
Before you opened up your gap
I had respect for ya lady
But now I take it all back
Cause you gave me all your pussy
And ya even licked my balls
Leave your number on the cabinet
And I promise baby, I’ll give ya a call
I wonder if any of the people that are crucifying these women for their lyrics about sex were singing and rapping along to Nate Dogg a few weeks ago. Probably not. Couldn’t be. That would be, dare I say, hypocritical.
And that ain’t all. My mama use to play music by Millie Jackson in the house when I was younger. If you’re not familiar with Ms. Jackson and her work, here’s the album cover of her 1977 release.
And here she is performing her song Slow Tongue.
Ms. Millie has other songs with titles like Ugly Men, where she encourages women to seek less attractive men because the sex will be better.
Side note: my mother was an amazing parent.
I won’t go through the list of Rap and R&B songs of the 80s, 90s and ’00s that stand next to Millie and Nicki and Cardi and Meg.
Dust off your CDs or tapes. Think back to watching BET Uncut. I’m sure you’ll find something.
Y’all remember these smooth R&B lyrics?
Baby, when we’re grinding
I get so excited
Ooh, you know I like it
I try but I can’t fight it
Oh, you’re dancing real close
Swaying real slow
You’re making it hard for me
NEXT’s Too Close is a little too close to sexual assault. But y’all jammed to it.
Maybe you’ve just become your mothers. I heard that young boys may grow up to become their mothers some times. It’s perfectly normal. I saw it in a documentary called Psycho.
I’m not saying that I want my 7 or 13 year-old niece to blast this in their ear buds. I don’t even want to think what the Kidz Bop version would be?
But I am saying that holding women to to some arbitrary standard because of your insecurity, parochial ideas about women, or simple hatred is extremely weak.
If you’re mad about this song, you’re pretty much in line with those, including your impeached president, who have labeled Kamala Harris as nasty and too ambitious. The attacks on her character have already begun to roll out. She’ll get much of the pushback Hilary Clinton received, but there’ll be a little extra hot sauce for Mrs. Harris.
They see a woman, specifically a Black woman, asserting herself as a threat. Having an opinion that a man doesn’t give you seems to relegate a woman being one of Snoop Dogg and DMX’s favorite ways to refer to women — DMX actually asked the virtual audience, “where the bitches?”
As we move toward November’s reckoning, we are sure to see continuous attacks on Kamala’s temperament, qualifications and attitude — things that would never be questioned about a man in her same position. Hell, look what occupies the office. How would you define its temperament, qualifications, or attitude? Snoop…D? Any suggestions?
You can take issue with the raunchiness of the song. You can question Harris’ record as a prosecutor or Attorney General. AND you can let women be full, multidimensional human beings.
Women do have the ability to be at the forefront of the current social justice movement, have high moral character, AND talk about, initiate and enjoy sex.