Monday, January 24, 2011

Black Holes of Davida: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, and Nicki Minaj

This was cross-posted at the FBomb and Feminists for Choice.

I know those are a lot of people to put into the Black Holes at once, but trust me, these people deserve it.

When I first read this article on Experimentations of a Teenage Feminist, the first thing I said to myself was “good God.” It wasn’t a good “good God.” It was a BAD “good God.” A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, HORRIFICALLY BAD “good God.”

Apparently, parts of Kanye West’s upcoming music video for the single “Monster” were leaked online. (I would like to point out that the album’s title is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.) In the video, half-naked women are drugged or dead, hanging from chains, as West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Bon Iver make sexual advances towards them. Nicki Minaj also makes an appearance in the video.

The lyrics of the song are pretty bad, too. Bon Iver asks, “Are you willing to sacrifice your life?” Rick Ross then states, “B***h I’m a monster no good blood sucker / fat motherf**ker now look who’s in trouble.” Jay-Z says, “Everybody knows I’m a motherf**king monster” and that “None of you n***as have seen the carnage that I’ve seen…rape and pillage a village, women and children.” Nicki Minaj goes on about how she too is a monster and how she has money now, and that “Bride of Chucky is child’s play.”

West’s lyrics are also appalling. In the chorus, West affirms that he is indeed a monster and calls to his n***as to go to his concert, of course using the f word practically every other word. He then questions whether women are “best living or dead” and informs the listener that he wants “less talk more head,” again firmly establishing that he is a monster and his eyes are “more red than the devil is.” He also complains about how his b***h keeps “acting like I owe her s**t” and is “claiming I bruise her esophagus.”

While I have never thank God been physically or sexually abused in any way, shape, or form, I don’t deal with stories of abuse well. When I watched the first three seconds of the video (literally - three seconds), I began ticking and sobbing hysterically. Seriously, DO NOT WATCH IT. I will not post it or link to it in any form. It’s too disturbing.

This video crosses a line. Offensive is one thing; I daresay most rap-type videos are offensive to feminists in some way. But this is just sick, perverted, several steps past offensive. Using women as sex objects is obviously troubling, and must be stopped. However, this video goes past that. It says that even if a woman is drugged, drunk, or even dead, it doesn’t matter: you can still use her body however you want to. It reminds me of Ted Bundy, the 1970s serial killer who raped and killed approximately 35 women, and sometimes kept his victims’ bodies to have sex with. May I note that Ted Bundy was a sociopath?

West seems like he has a lot of anger in him, though. At the 2009 MTV VMAs, when Taylor Swift won the Best Female Video award, he got onto the stage and proclaimed Beyonce’s superiority. When he didn’t win the Best Video Award at the 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards, he also went up onto the stage and argued that he should have won. At a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert in 2005, he accused George Bush of being a racist.

I don’t want to fall prey to the double standard here, but for fear of doing so, I would seriously like to blast Nicki Minaj for participating in this. As a woman, does she not have more self-respect? How could she be willing to be featured in a song that is so disgusting and anti-woman, and then a music video that’s even worse?

And so, I dub Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, and Nicki Minaj into the Black Holes of Davida - people who let us feminists down by advocating misogyny, sexism, abuse, and other anti-woman thoughts and actions.

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