Overnight social media has gone quite literally insane over one line in a particular song from Kanye West’s newly released album…
Maybe Kanye’s ego does genuinely think he made Brit winning, Emmy winning, seven time Grammy winning, nineteen time AMA winning, twenty-two time Billboard winning and eleven time Country Music Award winning Taylor Swift famous… but I doubt it considering the first time they properly interacted with each other was when he tried to snatch a VMA out of her hand back in 2009.
Maybe Taylor Swift would be interested in having sex with a man, who refers to her as a bitch, publicly tries to take away her years of hard work by claiming responsibility for her success and is at least two feet shorter than her… but that’s none of my business.
The main problems with this whole story are:
A) It gives Kanye way too much publicity
B) It makes Taylor a victim… again
C) It’s floating over the real issue of misogyny in popular music
News Flash: Kanye West is all about the headlines
This is the guy who changed the title for his new album via Twitter, was it 3, 4 times? He’s a major part of America’s most talked about family (I love Kim, no shame thrown there) and of course he’s Kanye West – there’s no denying he’s talented. But there’s also no denying that he wants you to be talking about him. He wants all the headlines to mention his name, his music, his new Yeezy line…
Of course, as you’re reading this I’m sure you’re thinking well if that’s the case and that’s a problem, why are you talking about him?
Just scrolling through Twitter this morning I saw so many people bashing this guy and then of course, people who love him bash those people right back and it becomes a whole whirlwind of Yeezus fueled nonsense all over the internet. The point I’m trying to make here is, that’s what he wants.
All publicity is good publicity.
Kanye West doesn’t sit in mansion next to his ninety-two music awards and care that you hate him. His bank balance certainly likes that you’re mentioning him though…
The damsel in distress
When Kanye jumped on the stage during Taylor’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards back in 2009 we all felt sorry for her. This was her night, she was the first country music artist to win a VMA, we all loved ‘You Belong With Me’, she deserved it, but Kanye thought Beyonce deserved it more… Etc. Etc.
The media backlash (and the memes, oh the memes) from this will forever live on and even now after they’ve seemingly made up, Taylor jokes about what happened, it’s all nice and everyone is friends again… whenever its mentioned she will forever be portrayed as the victim of that incident because when you get down to it, she was just a young girl excited about winning an award and this big well known star came and took away her thunder.
That’s always sat badly with me and today’s news stories are doing the exact same thing.
Misogyny in music
“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.”
– Kanye West, Famous/The Life of Pablo
While most of us, I’d hope, would find that line offensive – it wouldn’t surprise me if many Kanye fans and fans of rap in general really don’t see what the fuss is about. It’s a joke right? He’s just playing… I can’t deny when I first heard it, I thought, well that definitely could be worse…
Rap culture and most popular music in general is completely saturated with misogynist connotations. So much so, that probably half the time we don’t even realize what we’re singing along to. Hence why hearing a woman being referred to as a ‘bitch’ really doesn’t shock me… isn’t that sad?
(Misogyny = the hatred or dislike of women or girls.
Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.)
Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s a few examples…
“Punch your bitch in her mouth just for talkin’ shit. You lurkin’ bitch? Well, I see that shit. Once again I gotta punch a bitch in her shit. I’m icy bitch, don’t look at my wrist, because if you do, I might blind you bitch.”
– Tyler, The Creator, Bitch Suck Dick
“Why give a bitch your heart when she rather have a purse? Why give a bitch your inch when she rather have nine? You know how the game goes, she be mine by half time.”
– Chris Brown feat, Lil Wayne & Tyga, Loyal
“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.”
– Dr. Dre, Bitches Ain’t Shit
In no way is this genre specific btw…
“Turn around, bitch, I got a use for you. Besides, you ain’t got nothing better to do and I’m bored.”
– Guns N Roses, It’s so Easy
We’ve conditioned ourselves to accept this kind of language and the treatment of women it generates. Don’t tell me a young man or woman listening to something like the lyrics I’ve mentioned above, won’t form an opinion of themselves or the opposite sex based on what they’ve heard. You talk about women only being good for sex, only after money, only there to amuse a man and put that on a platform where billions of people can hear it and its going to make an impact on the way they see one another.
Reportedly, Kanye actually asked Taylor to share ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account, to which she obviously declined and warned him not to release something with such a misogynist message. That probably goes to show just how much Kanye West doesn’t see his way with words as a problem.
So all this talk about him ‘joking’ about having sex with Taylor or ‘joking’ that he made her famous… When you look at it in the bigger picture is it really that funny?
Should we really be focusing on this one song? Or should we be more focused on looking at re-shaping the genre/industry its in all together?
Please don’t just bash Kanye West and say oh look, he’s being a dick again. Look at the bigger picture. This is a problem and it needs addressing.