Pounding the P*ssy: Why Lil Wayne’s Quip Was Thoughtless and Irresponsible
“Pain is pleasure” does not mean “I want to brutally strike you like a klansmen struck a black kid who whistled at a white woman in 1955.”
But that’s what rapper Lil Wayne said on Future’s remix of “Karate Chop.” “I’ll beat the p*ssy up like Emmett Till,” as if the name Emmett Till doesn’t conjure one of the most horrific images of all time. The crushed face of 14-year-old Till made history when his mother demanded he have an open casket funeral. The image is an unreal, grueling, and harsh display of truth. It must have taken repeated strikes with hard objects to turn his face into a freakish claymation. Imagine what his face must’ve looked like before the mortician pieced it back together.
I like ratchet music, but wanting your vagina clobbered to a bloody pulp and pictured as Emmett Till’s face surpasses all levels of sex, passion, and S&M satisfaction. The level of misogyny in rap is at an all-time high when, in the middle of Black History month, a rapper feels it’s OK to compare such a tragic African American historical moment to a woman’s body. Who are these rappers trying to please? To express the ways you’re going to karate chop, knock down, tear up, smack, bash, assault or beat a woman’s vagina are becoming a bit much. It’s starting to feel like you want to hurt the woman.
I challenge all rappers to keep a thesaurus at your side when writing and recording. You’re clearly running out of ways to describe things. From BBD’s “Smack it up, flip it, rub it down” to Loverance’s “I’ll beat the p*ssy up,” aggression toward a woman’s body has been widely accepted as sexy, edgy, and entertaining for over a decade. Society has been desensitized to musically aggressive sexcapades under the assumption that we favor rough intimacy. While dancing to “Do Me Baby,” I never thought about being abusively smacked around in the bedroom. Even with a smooth ratchet track like “Up,” I pictured passion, not an actual beating.
Music lovers tolerate vile lyrics because the rhymes are fun. But as a result, no one takes rap seriously anymore. People want to party, drink, and have fun. It’s true that rap shouldn’t always be so serious, but there’s nothing fun or sexy about this line. It’s gross, tactless, and downright weird. It is extremely offensive to women and African American culture as a whole. It doesn’t warrant any excuse other than total delusion that rappers can say whatever they want.
After hearing the line in Lil Wayne’s verse, Till’s family spoke out against his name being used in the song. As a result, Epic Records sent a formal apology to the family. Lil Wayne has said nothing. The men responsible for Till’s gory demise went unpunished as many hate crimes did at that time. I am sure they walked away feeling accomplished and vindicated. Years later, Lil Wayne is getting publicity off of a tactless reference to the horror. Some of his fans will attempt to minimize this by saying “it’s just him.” As I’m sure some black people in 1955 minimized Till’s beating with “he should’ve known better than to whistled at a white woman.”