You Are What You Hear

Categories: #MeToo
08/03/2018
Tags:

Take a n*gga b*tch and then I pass her to the clique (grra, pow, pow, pow)

I say, see me, I don’t got no time for no b*tch (time for no b*tch)

I just get ’em for the bros

…….

F*ck a b*tch and then I put it in a b*tch throat (b*tch throat)

Never give a b*tch yo’ phone, that’s a no-no (hell nah)

I’m sure many of us are familiar with the phrase, “you are what you eat”. Well, as corny as it sounds, I think the same for what we feed our minds. The above excerpt is from the song “Bounce Out With That” by YBN Nahmir. Earlier in the year I was listening to songs off of a top charts playlist when this song came on. I was doing homework at the time, so it took a good minute before I actually tuned into the artist’s words and really heard what he was saying. I was disgusted and honestly surprised. If I’m not at home to constantly hear different songs on the radio, I contently listen to whatever music finds its way into my library. With that said, I have a very lazy and limited music scope. Hearing this song on the top charts playlist with millions of plays, now over 87M on Spotify, I was surprised.  What shocked me was music with such objectifying lyrics, lyrics that screamed women are just things to be passed on, sticked into and regulated or trained like a dog, were being played so heavily.

Go ahead and tell me I’m over exaggerating, the lyrics aren’t that bad or that they’re just lyrics. Five years ago, you may remember the infamous 2013 “U.O.E.N.O.” song by Rocko featuring Rick Ross and Future. If you don’t, maybe its lyrics, “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,” will jog your memory. Or maybe it’s the continuing problem of drinks being drugged or laced to aid sexual assault. Putting such lyrics in a song and then that song being popularly played, only leads to the act being normalized and worse, justified. After a lot of backlash on its promotion of date rape, they apologized for the lyrics.

For too many men don’t understand the spectrum of sexual violence, they think many forms of assault and harassment are ok because “she’s fine.” At parties or clubs, many men normalize and accept awful actions by drunk or “lit” men; slapping or grabbing a woman’s butt if they want to, dancing with women and assuming they want them sexually by kissing them without consent, pouring bottles of liquor on women while they party or dance, and even dropping pills like Viagra into their drinks without their knowledge.

Even if you think there’s no problem rapping about this behavior and acting it out in music videos, you must see the problem in acting it out in real life where real women aren’t paid extras on some Hollywood shooting set. That fictional world of verses and videos is not permission to make it our reality, but the more some create and popularize them the more it seems to grant exactly that. When will we stop promoting “art” that represents things we claim to be trying to demolish? When will we stop accepting or merely “okaying” these toxic messages of a sexist culture to be shared in our entertainment and social media, the most widespread and mainstream medium of today?

So no, I am not over exaggerating. Just as a diabetic shouldn’t decide to chow down 16 double fudge chocolate chip cookies, our sexist and patriarchal society shouldn’t indulge on toxic and objectifying music.


Jada Kissi is a current sophomore at Cornell University, double majoring in Communication and Development Sociology. She is an executive member of the Coalition of Pan African Scholars on her campus and is a member of Marginalia, a publishing poetry organization. She is passionate about national and global issues and plans to find solutions through her dedicated academic research. She is also the sole-creator and contributor to her website/blog Read it and Leap.
This post was originally published on her blog at justreaditandleap.com.