Rap’s Long History of ‘Conscious’ Condescension to Women – Mychal Denzel Smith – The Atlantic
Lupe Fiasco’s latest single, “Bitch Bad,” is exactly the sort of song the world has always expected Lupe Fiasco to make. When the Chicago-bred emcee debuted in 2006, he quickly became a favorite among critics and hip-hop fans in part because he represented a departure from the well-worn themes that had come to dominate mainstream rap music. He traded guns for skateboards, drugs for anime, and stale gangster posturing for a genuine political awareness rooted in concern for the future of his community. At his best, he has represented the revolutionary potential of hip-hop.
Six years, some bad public relations, and one truly disappointing album later, Lupe isn’t as universally adored as he once was, but he still knows how to grab attention. His desire to critique the genre and call other rappers to task for the messages and images they project inevitably sparks dialogue, and that’s never been truer than with “Bitch Bad,” his lyrical attempt at breaking down the hip-hop trope of the “bad bitch.”
The problem is, it’s just not very good.