Lupe Fiasco knows all too well the power of words. Depending on where you stand, the term “bad bitch” may have positive or negative connotations, and the Chicago MC filmed the video for his new single “Bitch Bad” with the sole intention of sparking discussion.
“I just wanted to have a conversation. It was more to just put it out in the world and see what happens,” Lu said of his song and the video which he premiered on Wednesday (August 22) on “RapFix Live,” MTV Jams, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV.com.
The Gil Green-directed clip helps to further Fiasco’s powerful mention on the song. On the track, which will appear on the upcoming Food & Liquor II, Lu tells parallel and separate stories of both a young boy and a young girl who are exposed to the word “bitch” at a very young age. “Bitch bad, woman good, lady better,” Lu spits on the song’s hook.
“I think it’s something that’s very subtle — the idea of it, the ’bad bitch’ — it’s very subtle but it definitely has some destructive elements to it,” Lupe said. “It has some troubling elements to it. Especially when you look at who it’s being marketed towards. That’s why we put the children in the video.”
By the time the song and video reaches the third verse, the two youngsters are grown. One has a positive take on the term “bad bitch” while the other has a more negative view. “Even if we don’t come to a definition about it, even if we don’t come to an agreement about it … it’s definitely something that I think we should talk about because it’s so prevalent in our culture right now,” Lupe said.
“RapFix” invited some esteemed journalists and industry figures to discuss the effects of the term “bad bitch.” Frannie Kelley (NPR), Jamilah Lemieux (Ebony magazine), video model Sophia Marie, MTV 2’s DJ Envy and RapFix’s Nadeska Alexis each had a different view the term’s perception.
Kelly nodded to female rap artists like Trina, who have become empowered by taking the negative word “bitch” and spinning it around, while Lemieux argued that there are a lot more positive words that women can use to affirm themselves.
Alexis admitted that, as a woman, sometimes it is hard to feel the negative effects in hip-hop music. Sophia Marie agreed and admitted that in the past, she had turned down derogatory video roles. DJ Envy ultimately felt that parents should teach their kids right from wrong. “I think if you take the power out the word it can’t hurt you,” he said. “I want them to learn from me rather than learn from someone in the street.”
What do you think of Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad” video? Let us know in the comments!