A few days ago Rap Radar posted a music video by recording artist Rico Love from his Discrete Luxury EP, entitled Bitches Be Like (which I’ll stylize as Bxtches Be Like). Amused by the title, my first impulse was to click the link to humor myself of what I thought I was about to hear. Instead, I heard something very different. A type of twisted social commentary is what I call it.
Bxtches Be Like, for those who are not well versed in social media, is an Internet colloquialism for describing what women stereotypically do: with the word “bxtches” replacing “women” as a name that is attached to the stereotypical behavior.
On the outset the song appears to be a loving but firm discourse. Love topics particular women who chase after material possessions and meaningless relationships because they don’t know their own worth. “You were always the life of the party/But when you gonna give your life to somebody/It’s like you find more pain than pleasure/You know you can’t play that game forever/How long you gon’ carry on, carry on like this/Different city every night still looking for a nxgga who gon’ wife it.”
“Bxtches be like/Hair done, nails done/But ain’t got nowhere to stay/Bxtches be like/Tonight I’m gon’ kill em/Taking pictures with no filter/Bxtches be like/It’s a lot of rich nxggas in the club/I’ma make one of these nxggas fall in love…”
Love is also a producer-songwriter who has an extensive catalogue of production credits, so listening to the song you can easily get lost in the melody. The reality of the message is not so melodic – misleading to be exact.
“You’ve been tryna do it since ‘92/That pxssy sick now, you got vagina flu/Fxck you tryin’ to do? You ain’t from DC/But you had the Million Man March up inside of you…”
Bxtches Be Like lyrics courtesy of RapGenius.com
In a much larger context this becomes a narrative that is symptomatic of race, gender inequality, and value systems. Men can do it but women can’t. White women do it and lose respect, women of color do it and they’re treated as lepers. Not that its ok for men to do it, it’s just when women do, especially women of color, it’s like the moral fabric of our society is bludgeoned with the proverbial axe of slut-shaming, i.e., Mimi Faust.
Like many Hip Hop artists who have stylized, hyper-sexual music videos that echo our carnal desires, one good highlight that Bxtches Be Like features is the question of where our values lay. The particular women in this song suffer from misplaced values and character-poverty. What is missing from the song is that it doesn’t inform the behavior of character-impoverished men who help to perpetuate the lifestyle and create the atmosphere for these particular women. One isn’t independent of the other, like men, in particular black men, identifying women as bxtches, aren’t exclusive of being nxggas, a pejorative that has branded some of our identities and psyches for centuries.
© Copyright Eddie Savoy Bailey III, 2014
Written by: Eddie Bailey of The Savoy Media Group