Misogyny Has a Great Beat

05 Dec

The brief said “be descriptive” – so you can imagine how it went. :mrgreen: That’s a terrible thing to say to someone like me who’s never used a word when ten might do.

But answering those questions did remind me of something: why is it that the more misogynistic the song, the better the beats?

Listen to the video above, for example: Pitbull’s I Know You Want Me. It’s basically the anthem for douchebags. The kind that don’t even offend you when you bump into them at some club because they’re so clueless, it’s hilarious. And yet! Plug it into your i-Pod and as long as you don’t understand Spanish and are the kind of person who really doesn’t care about lyrics, and you’ll find yourself merrily clopping along to it on your daily commute.

I’m not being dramatic when I say I really had to scrub 50 Cent from my playlist because that shit was making me depressed. There’s only so much I can hear about women as purchasable commodities being good for just one thing. By month’s end, as Fiddy delightedly informed me “there’s no business like ho business” for the nth time – I didn’t want to board my train, I wanted to jump in front of it.

Everytime I hear people giving the Black Eyed Peas a hard time for making no sense, I wonder what’s worse – Boom Boom Pow and “dem chickens jackin'” Fergie’s style or Lil Wayne’s ode to oral sex? At least when Fergie’s talking about her humps, it doesn’t make me want to take a long bleach bath.

So why do I still listen to hip hop? Because there’s stuff this:

Well, since he’s asking so nicely.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing to me personally is that I don’t have this problem when it comes to Eminem. I know he’s misogynistic and homophobic – I can hear it. It must be the writing that’s helping me over it or something. He simply doesn’t have the The Fiddy Problem as I like to call it. This disturbs me.

Rihanna does a very similar thing with her voice – it doesn’t matter if she’s not making any sense or if she’s singing with people who don’t have anything new to say. She just takes control so that whisky timbre is all you can think about.


Posted by on December 5, 2009 in Entertainment, Music, Personal, Video


15 responses to “Misogyny Has a Great Beat

  1. Ramsu

    December 5, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve never understood why this genre is so popular. Then again, I used to have a couple of fish whom I named Snoop Dogg and Gangsta (mostly for laughs), so I can’t really complain.

    The thing with Eminem is,he doesn’t spare himself either. His solution to end hate would be to kill everybody. Plus, I find his work more inventive than someone like, say 50 cent. The rhythm isn’t constant, so you find yourself leaning forward to catch what he’s saying.

  2. deej

    December 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    This dudette is going places!! *clap clap*

    (Just read the SpeakBindas interview)

  3. pitu

    December 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Awesome interview! Also, the part where you say you’ve always dug S. Amrika? ME TOO!! ๐Ÿ˜€ And watching ‘Up!’ has worsened it. Wanna come to El Fin del Mundo wid Hunnybunny and me? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • S, 'am Rika!

      December 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

      Pitu, wud your helium house hold an extra person? Not the end of the world if won’t. (Or is it?) ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. broom

    December 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I have a friend who’s uberfeminist & I had to BEG her to listen to Eminem when we were driving somewhere in my car.
    She gave in only because it was my car and after a few minutes of listening, grudgingly accepted that even though his lyrics were AWFUL, they were also poetic.
    I have that exact same reaction to his music – it shocks me and offends me but I cannot deny that there is poetry in there.

  5. Gradwolf

    December 6, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Awesome interview, Amrita. I think we should be saying “thanks!” ๐Ÿ˜›

    Ahem, I am someone who feels pop and hip/hop are purely guilty pleasure. Can these people sing on stage for 2 hrs without lip syncing? That kinda puts me off. Nothing else matters(sic)!

  6. Gradwolf

    December 6, 2009 at 3:49 am

    But hey, I got to admit, I totally cracked up on “Are you into watching movies?”! Hahahahahahaha!

  7. Desi Ninja

    December 6, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    really? hip-hop lyrics is supposed to make any sense???

    i thought there must b some words in between to qualify as a song from an instrumental. so they keep saying some arbitrary words like that. come on- we all know no babe (atleast the ones as hot as those in the vdo) will ever come along if u say something like pitbull-

    “Baby you can get it, if you with it we can play
    Baby I got cribs, I got condos we can stay
    Even got a king size mattress we can lay
    Baby I don’t care, I don’t care, what they say…”

    but still it sounds good. (as long as you don try to make make any sense of it :P)

  8. nsfw

    December 7, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I have only heard “Slan” or whatever it is called by emimen and IT IS BRILLIANT. He got the vibe of the dysfunctional obssesed fan seeking to compensate for his in-adequacies in fandom. True art. He is one scared mother-fucker – he doesn’t like to release albums too often – but he is good. ๐Ÿ™‚ Rest of rap – I will now date myself by name dropping pop-friendly rap by white boys of a certain age.

    M C Hammer,
    um, I have become senile and forgotten the rest. :-p

  9. nsfw

    December 7, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Re: the interview: the reason why meeting up with them in real life is often nothing like the person in your head, is simply because you already know them at a “deeper” level thru’ what they right. Trying to match that with their appearance, body language and verbal language produces the dissonance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Amrita

    December 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Ramsu – awwwww! I want a little fishy called Snoop! But the emotional commitment is too much ๐Ÿ˜›
    Hip hop is not for everyone, like people never say “sure” about it the way they do about classic rock or something. So I get that.

    DG – they’ll probably be knocking at your email next. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s a blogger project.

    Pitu & SAR – sign me up baby! We’ll drive our way down the coast!

    Broom – right?! I find myself really listening, especially his less popular tracks that aren’t all about proving a point. But then again, there’s this shit that I listen and I kinda laugh. And then hate myself.

    Adithya – hee! It was a boilerplate questionaire. But I giggled about that one for a good ten secs. Did you read Ramsu’s? He had the same reaction!
    And YES!! Hip hop artists can perform without lip syncing! Not the wannabes but the real ones.

    Desi Ninja – no, no, desi hip hop isn’t what hip hop is about! ๐Ÿ˜€ “Real” hip hop not only makes sense, it’s the poetry of our urban jungle.

    Nsfw – Stan, do you mean? Yeah, not only him but Dido, whom I love. I’m waiting for him to blow my mind and do something with Cat Power. ๐Ÿ˜€ And *giggle* at MC Hammer. Not a Public Enemy kind of guy?
    Re: real vs. online… you’re probably right (I messed up the phrasing on that answer so its less than clear) but I was really talking about famous people. Like if I had a chance to meet Paul Newman, would I? No. Because the Paul Newman in my head is the Paul Newman I want. You know?

  11. sachita

    December 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    i stay away from hiphop so wouldnt know anything about the lyrics part of it but the interview ..

    you know we read your blog every day but still the interview answers did add in their perspective. questions were quite bland and i wish they were more specific to a blog.

    “No. Iโ€™m a pretty finished product.” – neat one, i lol there.

    ps:On S.America, a colleague once went on 3-week trip to the forests there with no connection to the outside world. he liked it.

  12. nsfw

    December 8, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Hee, like I almost implied, I relied on MTV to tell me what was supposed to be hip and happening. Thank god they no longer show music videos. ๐Ÿ™‚
    re: Newman I get you, but somehow I don’t like to create fantasy constructs on real people. My idealized fantasy constructs come and stay from the fantasy world. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love Amitabh and Sachin for instance, but they constantly surprise me by exceeding my cynical expectations.

    In fact, I LOVE IT when a fantasy construct like (say) Tiger Woods comes down. Love Agassi though, they created a fantasy construct around him and he comes right out and says balls, that was never me.

  13. Hippity Hop!

    December 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Bouncy ball? I’m game. Douchebag? No, thanks. (Dogg is ok, but Pitbull scares the bejeesus outta me.) ๐Ÿ˜€

    You’re right, hip hop isn’t for everyone. I was never high on it but did look up (and like) Bohemia after listening to CC2C. Now, thanks to you (and broom and nsfw), gave Eminem a twirl (“Lose Yourself” on YT) and by God, you guys are right! He IS a poet. I not only had a “Red Wheel Barrow” moment, but muchas surprise, did so without detecting even a hint of homophobia or misogyny (so much for Eminem’s head landing, ever so often, on scholars’ “Violence in the Media” anvil). Maybe I did lose myself (momentarily). Maybe I need to straddle the spectrum of his songs to find out what the real fuss is all about. Maybe I will! ๐Ÿ˜€

    And I really liked your responses to that interview questionnaire. Ditto on everything nsfw and Sachita say here. To add, it’s indeed comforting when a writer who floats your boat also corroborates some of what you’d conceived of them inside your head. (Otoh, was a bit shocked to learn that Patricia Highsmith — who managed to mine her characters’ deep, dark emotions for years — was such an unfathomable mystery in real life. Did you read the recently reviewed “The Talented Miss Highsmith”? I really want to.)

    About meeting a famous someone face-to-face, I tend to agree with your take on Paul Newman etc. (makes me recall what BR wrote couple years back on almost meeting Amitabh, though the concerns he had highlighted, iirc, were more along the lines of a fanboy being tongue-tied/blather-prone; not fearing a potential shattering of preconceived mental constructs), but like nsfw, I too had presumed
    you were referring to an online-2-real meeting, with someone from your blogroll, say (in which case the ‘dissonance’ factor nsfw brings up could be a distinct possibility).

    Tip of my hat to your take on technology, btw (“Bow, slave, bow” is right!) and that part about being phlegmatic… awww! Hey, thanks for the smoochies, though a part of me feels more deserving of the “move on” nudge! (But what would be that something else that I would want to do? Sell fish on the streets of Vannanthurai, perhaps.) ๐Ÿ˜›

  14. memsaab

    December 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out Amrita (and Ramsu) in your very lovely interviews ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love hip-hop in the same way that I’m beginning to love 80’s Hindi cinema.

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