This week The Root shared an op-ed by black-queer-feminist activist, Samantha Master, critiquing the content of aggressive lesbian rap artist, Young M.A The piece expressed Master’s concerns about misogynistic lyrics in Young M.A’s music and attempted to highlight the social responsibility Young M.A. has to the LGBT community when it comes to her art. While Master’s concerns are warranted, there is an opportunity to take a deeper look at Young M.A’s misogyny and the reality of the hip-hop industry.
Young M.A’s inadvertent movement
It is definitely ground breaking to see a young aggressive lesbian in the spotlight in the music industry. Having grown up in Atlanta — and lived the LGBT lifestyle — I have met and dated my share of hip-hop industry hopefuls who were also aggressive lesbians. The common sentiment was that of disappointment and feeling that their dreams would never come true due to their sexual orientation and demeanor. Now, things are beginning to change, and thanks to Young M.A, other aggressive lesbians of color can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So why the outcry about the musical content? It sounds like the typical defensive, feminist argument that eventually commands lyrical content be changed to suit their personal standards. While it is true that much of the mainstream hip-hop music found today is degrading, we also have to accept the fact that mainstream hip-hop is not nearly as positive as it could or should be. This is not a call to settlement but to acceptance of reality so that we can be constructive in changing it.
Misogyny or nah
Young M.A’s lyrics in the song, “OOOUUU,” which has received over 100 million views on YouTube since its release in May 2016, can be bit more perplexing than they are misogynistic.
“Baby gave me head, that’s a low blow (That’s a low blow)/
And she make me weak when she deepthroat/”
Well, that’s interesting commentary coming from a woman. What exactly is the woman about to “deepthroat” when engaging another woman in oral sex? Is she seriously going to suck on a strap on? I have dated studs in my life who actually wore strap ons all day and became aroused at the sight of a woman sucking it, mentally experiencing the thrill of getting one’s penis sucked. As a woman who loves women, this makes even me uncomfortable. However, the reality is that these are the kind of lyrics that accurately reflect the mindset of many aggressive lesbians and are common in mainstream hip-hop today. Young M.A is simply producing the content that is performing well in the industry, allowing herself the achieve what many of her counterparts in the LGBT community have yet to.
More lyrics from the song include:
“If that’s ya chick, then why she texting me?
Why she keep calling my phone speaking sexually?”
This is a common occurrence in the often toxic and unacknowledged reality of lesbian dating. LGBT persons are no different from heterosexuals when it comes to promiscuity and disrespect of relationships.
“I don’t open doors for a hoe (Not at all!)
I just want the neck, nothin’ more (Nothin’ more)”
Self-respecting women have this issue of being short-sighted in their analysis of music and current events. From Donald Trump’s comments about grabbing women by the pussy to the lyrics by Young M.A, the reality is that there are despicable whores that walk among us, and many of them deserve the most basic levels of respect, if that. In the end, are these lyrics any different from what a man would say in the mainstream? Are they really untrue? Not at all.
The dark reality of hip-hop
Young M.A has climbed to her peak by putting out music that sells via capitalizing on the darker realities of urban life, even if her lyrics don’t always make much sense in terms of imagery. One can critique the lyrics of a song day and night, but the bigger issue is with the music executives who push this content into the forefront. Kanye West pointed this out in his recent rant during his Saint Pablo tour. In February, Azealia Banks shared her sentiments on the issue tweeting, “all these fucking pill popping divas doing the LEAST and the shit is boring. Get these hoes a coffee and a pair of Gloves… Bring out the real artists!” Hip-hop artist B.o.B. has been tweeting the latest mainstream and music industry conspiracy realities as well. Some of his most recent are below:
While it is valid to desire quality content from our artists, especially those who are in a position to blaze trails and open doors for so many others who aspire to be like them, we have to be realistic in our expectations and the bigger machine that we and the artists are wrestling with. It’s hard enough to build a successful platform or make it into the mainstream. There are things one has to be willing to work through or give up in order to gain the fortune and fame. The new opportunity for black lesbians at large is to get active and create content that can get them onto the big stage with a cause in their back pockets.
Move beyond the romanticism of being the first — that was what killed Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning — and move into the space of learning from the mistakes of the one who went first. Get out there and be the change you want to see, and then thank Young M.A, Ellen DeGeneres, and all other successful LGBT persons for opening the door for you to do it.