Bitch Bad by Lupe Fiasco: A video & Song breakdown
Not only does it have substance, but it provides a scope into pop culture America and it's use of the word "Bitch".
Lets break observe the definition with this excerpt from Wikipedia: The term "bitch" comes from the 1150 word bicche, which was developed from the Old English word bicce. The Oxford English Dictionary dates the term meaning "female dog" to around 1000 A.D. As a derogatory term for women, it has been in use since the fourteenth or fifteenth century. Its earliest slang meaning mainly referred to sexual behavior, according to the English language historian Geoffrey Hughes:
"Bitch" remained a strong insult through the nineteenth century. The entry in Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785) reads : A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore, as may be gathered from the regular Billinsgate or St Giles answer--"I may be a whore, but can't be a bitch." Since then the term "Bitch" has been on the rise and since the 1900s it's been used very frequently according to this Google data sheet. Lupe Fiasco an artist well known for taking a stand against the dumbing down of America. Has put out one of his greatest hits yet since "Dumb it down" and "Words I never said". In the video, we see a man with a wad of cash, a guy and a girl getting ready to put on a show giving the impression that this is all entertainment and for profit. Then we see Lupe, who immediately addresses how "Bitch" is directly influencing the next generation with a radio scenario between mother & son:The early applications were to a promiscuous or sensual woman, a metaphorical extension of the behavior of a bitch in heat. Herein lies the original point of the powerful insult son of a bitch, found as biche sone ca. 1330 in Arthur and Merlin ... while in a spirited exchange in the Chester Play (ca. 1400) a character demands: "Whom callest thou queine, skabde bitch?" ("Who are you calling a whore, you miserable bitch?").
Now the boy has a misconstrued view of women because of the perverse lyrics of popular songs, his whole understanding of good and bad/respect and dishonor is now skewed. Since his mom calls herself a bad bitch he now considers that a positive term — or maybe even not a positive term, but rather a negative term that causes a positive reaction. Women have accepted these degrading terms and incorporate them in their own vocabulary. Women tend to be a mirror of what they want to appear to be. As well as what they want men to be persevering of them in order to find a successful mate/relationship. In order to do this, Women must disclose amongst themselves on how to get a man, and keep one. Unfortunately, with the media's "How you should appear" and "How you should act" advertisement these are two completely different realms. In Lupe's second verse he strengthens his point by describing regular every day habits between children. Since the technological advancements have children understanding internet and other various forms of communication i.e social media, it has become extremely easy to access uncensored/suggestive content. As explained in verse two."Couple of things are happenin' here/ First he's relatin' the word "bitch" with his mama - comma/ And because she's relatin' to herself, his most important source of help and mental health, he may skew respect for dishonor."
In the video, we see how girls growing up are constantly being showed how to "look & act" especially by entertainers they deem as role models & mentors. When it comes to the entertainers in the video we see that even they are subject to the wills of their providers. They begin to put heavy make up on, reenacting the Blackface a " form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows in which performers create a stereotyped caricature of a black person. "  The irony of Black people using the Blackface make up shows how the entertainment industry does its best to solidify a racist image, attitude and perception not only to race (primarily black/urban) but as well as the subjugation of woman. The sad reality is even if the media does promote a positive role for woman to follow, it is ultimately the parent(s) responsibility to make sure their child or children understand the roots of what they say and the actions they invoke. Lupe then explains in his last verse that he is using "Bitch" as a psychological weapon, "To set in your mind and really mess with your conceptions/ Discretions, reflections, it's clever misdirection/" . Because of the way the word “bitch” is used so frequently in music, girls start thinking that they need to fit the bitch stereotype of loose provocative clothing and they are confused about how they should look/behave but it’s all really just an illusion created by misogynistic music. While men understand what the word actually means."It doesn't really matter if they have parental clearance/ They understand the internet better than their parents/ Now being the internet, the content's probably uncensored/ They're young, so they're malleable/ and probably unmentored/ A complicated combination, maybe with no relevance Until that intelligence meets their favorite singer's preference"
|They don't see a paid actress, just what makes a bad bitch|
The one thing I would like to add though about Lupe's part on men understanding the reality and the meaning of the word. Just like woman, men too, are caught in the illusion of how to treat woman. Because of the misogynistic music, woman feel they should reflect what is perceived to be the best way to get attention or a man. Since men try to look/act like the male entertainers that are heavily influenced to create these type of images, they're caught in the trap because they see woman dressed or act in that way so they must match her persona as well in order to attract her. In the end of the video we see the entertainers breaking down emotionally. Images of money, needles (for drugs or butt shot injections) and jewelry which are incentives and motivation to keep up the "good work". I applaud Lupe in his message to Black culture as an artist it is not easy to show the effects of Blackface culture, misogynist music and subjugation of woman all tied into one and being able to successfully showcase that in a major label."Just like that, you see the fruit of the confusion/ He caught in a reality, she caught in an illusion/ Bad mean good to her, she really nice and smart/ But bad mean bad to him, bitch don't play a part/ But bitch still bad to her if you say it the wrong way/ But she think she a bitch, what a double entendre"