Friday, August 24, 2012

"Who You Callin' a Bitch?"

"And even after all my logic and my theory/I added mutha phucka so you ignit' ni**** hear me"... To this day, those might be my two favorite bars in the history of hip hop. Amazing what the power of words can hold, especially when you consider the source of the word and the context they're used in. Such is the case with a song I heard recently by Lupe Fiasco. Throughout Fiasco's career, he's found himself either praised for his lyrical dexterity or shunned for being naive and somewhat overly sensitive towards fans and media. To a degree, a lot of the criticism has been fair. Many of his interviews have come off as unprepared and not well thought out, perhaps due to awful public relations or trying to please everyone. Both of those are dangerous avenues to travel and have damaged some of his credibility. In other words, some cats just don't take the brotha seriously. Despite all of that, I've found Lupe to be quite intelligent. He's also shown the ability to walk a line that many emcee's today cannot... make a hit record for the mainstream audience, while still being able to hold the attention of those in the independent circles (co-signs and guest appearances ranging from Jill Scott to Kanye West certainly helped along the way). Fiasco's latest offering is a song entitled "Bitch Bad". When I first heard the title, I already knew the track would be anything but how the title sounds. One of his strongest attributes is the ability to manipulate the listener... and he knows this. He takes FULL advantage of it on this track, as well. The track basically describes how some women portray themselves and display these type of feelings around their children, totally disregarding the fact the children may grow up to mimic the same behavior and view other women they encounter the same way. I think its an insightful look inside the mind of many females (and males) who are virtually clueless about their actions... and subsequent reactions. I've read more than a few reviews where Lupe was chided for the usage of the word "bitch" and his attempt to profit on a culture that's already saturated with profanity and loose stereotypes. WELL SO WHAT! We walk amongst many people who choose to keep their minds in seclusion. Some of those walk in the lane of the close-minded. Others just have a short attention span. So, perhaps it takes songs like this to get people to pay attention to not just their actions but their words as well. Here's an example from the song (the first couple of bars of the third verse)... "Disclaimer: This rhymer, Lupe’s not usin’ bitch as a lesson But as a psychological weapon To set in your mind and really mess with your conceptions Discretions, reflections, it’s clever misdirection" The song features an odd delivery at certain points but I feel the timing in releasing the record couldn't have been any better. Years ago, many either missed the point or never heard the very on-point "Da Bichez" by Jeru the Damaja. But Fiasco's track (at least, lyrically) might be "Da Bichez" on steroids. Hope you enjoy your high.... "bitches" lol!