Let me start of by admitting that I am and always have been a fan of Jay-Z. I am not ashamed to admit that I too have bobbed my head to the melodies of songs like “Money, Cash, Hoes” and “Can I Get A” and so on. Was I ever offended by Jay-Z’s perpetual and liberal use of the word “bitch”? Nah, not really. Not so much because I am okay with a man referring to a woman in that way or because I am accepting of a man referring to me in that way but because I understand the difference between art and reality. And I do not necessarily think that the two will always reflect one another.
I am not someone who sees the images in Rap videos and takes them for reality. Much like I don’t assume that actors in movies are the true reflections of the characters they play. I get that music much like other forms of art there are facades created for entertainment purposes. However, I do understand how one would be insulted by the gratuitous use of the word. I get it. It’s just that verbiage in rap music or any other genre for that matter is not on my top ten things to make the world better list. Excuse my sarcasm. So, when Jay-Z made the announcement that he would no longer include the word “bitch” in his lyrical forte all I could muster up as a response was “SO”. It wasn’t that I did not necessarily think it was a move in the right direction for rap, I just didn’t care. OH! There goes that sarcasm again. It seems to like hanging around me. What struck me more than the decision was the flagrant amount of grand-standing that came along from both Jay-Z and Beyonce with said decision and the entire pregnancy. Let me explain.
Jay-Z and Beyonce have spent their entire relationship, which is now hitting on a little longer than ten years earnestly trying to keep their love/romance/relationship private. In fact I can recall an interview done by Beyonce many years ago where she explained why. According to her their love is something that they cherish and they want to preserve it and they don’t want to see it tainted by broadcasting the details of it to the world for any reason. Whether it be publicity, money or even to prove that is in fact genuine. I can respect that but my question now is what the hell changed over night?
Why have they now decided to air out the details of their private life in such a flamboyant and dare I say pretenious way? From Beyonce revealing her pregnancy at the MTV awards at the pre-awards event, to her then revealing it on stage after her performance, to months later only days after the baby is born and Jay-Z hurriedly creates a song about the baby and publicly releasing it with the sounds of the baby in the actual song; to only later write a poem about the baby and then release it to major media outlets, to then Jay-Z announcing that you will no longer use the word bitch in your lyrics. What else is next? A concert event celebrating the baby’s first birthday to be aired publicly on YouTube? What happen to the privacy factor guys? Did that conveniently get thrown out of the window for publicity sake? Also, why do you want us to care so much?
Another reason why I am not impressed with Jay-Z’s revealing that he will no longer be using the word bitch is because he has used that word 7,899 times in his rap career. Okay, I don’t actually know how many times he has used it but you get my point. You have been referring to women as bitches, hoes, and other derogatory terms all of your life on wax proudly, but now that you have a daughter, a princess, you don’t want anyone else referring to her as that and that alone has demonized the word for you. Negro please.
What about the hundreds of women who you described using those same derogatory terms? I’m sure their fathers did not appreciate you describing them in that way. I’m sure they see their daughters as princesses worthy of being respected and loved by all men, including wealthy rap stars. They were someone’s daughter long before Blue Ivy was even a speck in Jay-z’s scrotum. While I understand that Jay-Z does not want anyone to refer to his daughter in a derogatory way; this being a natural feeling of any father. I just don’t respect it because it is coming from such an obviously self centered place. Too bad it had to take him having a daughter of his own, and the thought of his baby girl being disrespected resonating with him internally for him to finally realize that all women deserve respect. Wow. Very deep Jay.
Too bad the real world does not work like that. Eventually someone will call your precious baby girl a bitch Jay. At some point in her life, she will be referred to in a derogatory manner by someone of the opposite sex or unfortunately possibly by a man she loves. I do not know any woman who has never experienced being labeled a degrading term at least once in her life by some man. Whether she was deserving of it by her actions or not. Hell, Blue Ivy might even earn a “hoe” or “slut” title as well at some point in her adult life. The sky is the limit on that one and there is no amount of money, clout, swag, or power that can protect her from the cruel harsh words that can come out some men’s mouths towards women. You see, this is why it is almost impossible for me to celebrate Jay-Z’s decision or even do a slow to fast hand clap build up for him. He is doing something that probably has been sitting on his conscious for years now and that he probably knew was wrong all of his adult life. Or at least for a good ten years yet he continued. Why? Because he didn’t care about us bitches. As cynical as this may sound, why should we care now?
Click the link below to puchase LJ Knight’s new e-book “How to Survive the First Six Months of Dating.”