|"Oh yeah, bitches! Who wants to go for a |
I have no love for hoes
That's somethin I learned in the pound
So how the fuck am I supposed
To pay this hoe, just to lay this hoe
I know the pussy's mines, I'ma fuck a couple more times
And then I'm through with it, there's nothing else to do with it
Pass it to the homie, now you hit it
Cause she ain't nuthin but a bitch to me
And y'all know, that bitches ain't shit to me
~ Snoop Dogg (there is a context to this, I promise...)
This past weekend was my first show back in the three weeks since Dreamgirls received a customer complaint about how thin I had become. I have put on six pounds since then, and was feeling pretty good when I arrived at the Four Points by Sheraton for my show on Saturday night.
The group of guys was from Taber, a small city about three hours southeast of Calgary, who were in town to celebrate their buddy’s stag. They had booked out a handful of smaller rooms and one big suite on the third floor of the luxurious hotel. After meeting me in the lobby and escorting me upstairs, I was then left alone in one of their rooms to
“Crap,” I yelled, as the best man knocked on the door and then entered the room.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I left my iPod in the car,” I pouted. “Do you guys have any music in there?”
“Sure, what do you want to listen to?” he asked as he led me down the hotel’s carpeted corridor, the huge caped skirt of my costume billowing out behind me.
“Ummm...” I wasn’t interested in wasting any time tonight trying to make up an acceptable play list; my dogs were in the car, and I wanted to just get my show over with so I could go home and go to bed.
The glamorous life of a stripper! Or not.
“I’ll dance to whatever you guys are listening to,” I smiled breezily, while surreptitiously scrutinizing him from out the corner of my eye. Hmmm. He didn’t look like the type who was going to blast the punk rock and set the curtains on fire. I shook my head in disappointment.
He opened the door and I swept dramatically into the massive hotel suite to the cheers and hollers of the gathered groomsmen. The groom was sitting on one of the pink love seats, and he looked up in surprise as I reached out for his hands and pulled him off of the couch.
“You guys!” he groaned, and everyone laughed as I sat him in a chair in the centre of the room, and started my show.
I like to talk a lot during my show, and so I didn’t really notice the music I was dancing to until about a quarter of the way into my set. My ears finally pricked up when the guys started singing along to the song:
“Cuz bitches ain’t shiiiiiiiiit!”
Now then. NOW THEN. I have no problem with rap music. I even sang along with them, when I wasn’t too busy yammering. But as the songs went on and became more and more...um...misogynist friendly, I guess? I realized that I had never really bothered to consider the lyrics of rap music before.
I only recently became a punk rock queen. I used to prefer dancing onstage to rap and hip hop, as each had a deeper beat and and a bass line that made me want to move along with it. I also found that audiences in general seemed to prefer it, were more receptive to it. But at some point over the years, my musical tastes evolved and ripened, and I started to get into heavier rock and punk music. I even tried to use some of it onstage, much to the chagrin of all the strip club managers in Calgary. And everywhere. Slowly but surely, rap music got pushed to the background of my musical life. I moved on.
A couple of months ago, I came across Ashley Judd’s autobiography displayed in the Features section at the library. At the time I was obsessed with the plight of women in Africa, thanks to The Caged Virgin, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ashley Judd apparently did a lot of humanitarian aid throughout Africa, and so I eagerly snatched her book off the shelf.
I don’t remember the exact passage, but right at the beginning of the book Ashley describes how she was asked to take part in a benefit concert to raise awareness for women’s issues. A variety of hip hop artists were also involved, including Snoop Dogg and Dre. I guess Ashley Judd found it particularly ironic that, considering rap’s typically misogynistic lyrics, hip hop artists were even welcome to perform at such a function in the first place. I think she may even have declined to participate in the function for this very reason; hip hop music was demeaning to women. How could they promote such a thing?
I thought about this during my show on Saturday night, as I listened to the guys sing along with Snoop Dogg and his various cronies. I mean homies. How could I not have noticed this before? I wondered, feeling slightly stupid that for years I had pranced around butt naked onstage to such demeaning lyrics. If anyone asked, I decided, I would pretend that actually I had done it tongue-in-cheek to be ironic; not because I was too
When I thought about it last weekend after my show, though, I wondered how I felt about it now. I consoled myself with the thought that, hey, rappers dis other guys in their music too, just as much as they dis the women, right? Rival artists, chronic enemies, the peaux peaux (po po?), people who budge in front of them at Starbucks. The men were getting shit on too, weren’t they? So was it really misogynistic? Or was it basically just rude to, well, everyone?
Not that I really think anyone cares about my opinions on music.
Yes, hello, is this Victoria Beckons?
Yes, it is.
This is Helen Thomas, the racist old lady from the New York Times. What can you tell us, your adoring public, about the musical inspiration behind your exalted, epic production of “Slutty School Girl Swings Around On A Pole And Then Takes Everyone’s Money”?
You never know. It could happen.
I think I’ll go and sit by the phone.