Here’s a pro tip: Don’t rely on rap music for articulate breakdowns on the social implications of black womanhood, or for an affirmation of it. Black women exist in rap music for conquest and consumption by men (or other women in the case of lesbian rappers.) It doesn’t matter whether the rapper is ‘conscious’, trap or somewhere in between. For the most part, women in rap are nameless and silent.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s address the Kendrick lyric that has the internet going nuts. It’s from his new single Humble, the first off his forthcoming album. It goes;
I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks
Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks, ayy
Is it less offensive than other rap lyrics targeted at women?
Yes, but at the end of the day it’s still a faceless black woman shaking ass in a rap video. Which is the same ‘ol, same ‘ol — both for rap music and Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick ain’t exactly #feministbae.
Is it worth the hoopla that has surrounded it?
No. The negative reactions have been waaaay exaggerated in my opinion.
Should I be grateful to Kendrick? Is he doing my stretch-marked ass a favor?
No. First off this isn’t news — at least not to me. When it comes to sex, a few zebra strips ain’t stopping the show for most men. I swear to you, I once had a conversation back in 2014 with a black girlfriend who suspected black men had a secret ‘booty stretch marks’ fetish based on remarks she’d heard over the course of her dating career.
All Kendrick is telling me is that he’d have sex with a woman in spite of (because of?) her stretch marks. This is valuable information if you consider sex with Kendrick Lamar a prize. I don’t. So all he’s done is publicize his sexual preference. Which is… whatever I guess. I like the song though.
So if this isn’t groundbreaking, what *would* be groundbreaking?
Rap lyrics affirming black women that have nothing to do with the way they look, the way they have sex, or their ability to take abuse as a show of loyalty.
So, do you still like Kendrick?
Yes, he’s still one of my favorite rappers, Humble is absolute flame (and great twerking music) and I *may* or may not have played the video a couple dozen times since it came out.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on the lyric? Did you have a positive reaction? Negative? Why or why not?