From the science of twerking to the art of misogyny

Have you seen Rihanna’s Pour it up video? The one with all that ass, money and poles?

“Bandz a make her dance”

Yeah, that one.

My friends were having a debate on instagram about the art in that video. Like many, if not all other hip-hop videos, issues about misogyny, twerking, and bitches need to be discussed in order to understand the art, or lack thereof in these videos, or the culture at large.

Recently, Juicy J, founder of the “Bandz make her dance” situation and sponsor of the twerk scholarship just released an album called “Stay Trippy.” On the album cover, there is a naked female holding on to the leg of Juicy J with both hands. Meanwhile, fully suited Sir Juicy holds his hands open with a bottle of champagne like “I aint gat no worries.” Juxtaposed with the champagne bottle in the hand of Stevie, (Stony’s brother in the film “Set it Off )I had a lot of comments about how long that bottle would last in his hand. It took Stevie about five minutes to lose his, how long can Juicy J last, at least the bottle in his hand?

Well, my friends took to the instagram streets to debate the art in that album cover.

“@elmo_knows :@purple_pastry I think that’s the beauty in it. She’s a slave to the fame the money and sells her body, herself for a taste of it  and she’ll do anything to hang on to it. It’s the truth sad but beautifully depicted.
No one is making her stay. She’s the one hanging on for whatever reason. Completely naked. It’s weird almost like whoever designed this album cover did it intentionally

@purple_pastry: But the sadness does not make it beautiful. Not every thing that’s sad is beautiful. This is a sad picture with a very ugly message. Juicy J represents rich and fame and he is a man. So aren‘t men slaves to rich and fame as well? I feel like this picture is ultimately saying that women need to be slaves to men in order to get the riches and fame they want.  And how do we know she’s selling her body for riches and fame? She may hanging on for something more. Don’t women sell their bodies for love? Loool… I’m digressing (tryna give her a story) but uhmmm the message this conveys makes me sick to my stomach. It may be beautifully constructed but the message behind it makes me hate it. Here’s where I agree completely with you, it does sum up mainstream hip hop culture completely. All the men want are the lighties, money and sex. So you right. But that babe sitting on that floor, I just want to yank her up and push her to go get a life.

@elmo_knows:  Lool @purple_pastry your right. Men can be slaves to the fame too but this picture is open to interpretation which is what I love about it. It is sickening and a hard pill to swallow but a really good representation.
@dhvani_t: I agree with @purple_pastry especially when you think about the message it sends to women younger than us and even our age. That not only is this what it is, it’s accepted enough to put on a cover. Plus it shows the music industry’s and their complete disregard for women, their bodies and their dignity. To even allow that cover to exist damages is more than it helps us understand reality. Because the sad truth is that this has always been out reality and we don’t need a cover to remind us of that.
@dhvani_t:  And we equally understand that. We are just saying that the message overwhelms our idea of beauty concerning it and how we think that message overrides the beauty in the matter of impact. It’s just that you can still appreciate the beauty of it and we just feel that we can’t. Either way, our opinions are all still right. We understand each other, we just don’t have the same feeling when we look at it for different 
@elmo_knows: @dhvani_t I think you are both missing the point It’s all these things. You’re absolutely right it says a lot about our society now
‘ and the way the roles of women have morphed but the point still remains that it’s a damn apt representation. It’s the same way we can look at Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer winning picture and appreciate the sadistic beauty of it for its representativeness that we can look at this. This i ’
picture serves a function. If someone were to ask me a hundred years from now to describe the hip hop culture in 2013, I would pull up this picture. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to shed a tear

@dhvani_t :By the way, my feelings about the message for the Kevin guy also overcame the beauty. Instead of saving one more child, he chose 
to take that picture. I have many issues with it but yes, he captured something important. ljust don’t know if it was worth doing that over saving the child. And I feel that he felt the same way which was why he ended up committing suicide. Maybe not But I have very similar feelings about that, and I feel that we have enough refugee camp pictures and bands a make her dance videos for the future to realize what _
the truth of our society was, that I don’t know how I feel about appreciating the beauty of another one 

@elmo_knows: @dhvani_t I’m almost certain whoever made this cover was not as dumb as juicy j to pose for it but actually knew what they were doing. It’s too blatant to feign ignorance. But you can argue Rihanna’s video is art. Its counter-stereotypical. Making a statement that women have some type of control and can do exactly the something as men. Women can make it in the industry and not be afraid to show it It all depends on your perspective and what exactly your trying to defend. What really is art is the question you should be asking? Do Monet Van Gogh and the rest represent the ideal art. Keep in mind that these artists were revolutionary attire time discovering new fortes of art neon before explored. So try and be open minded my friends. Life is too short “bows out gracefully.

@purple_pastry: I’m a huge fan of anything sexy. Even sexy with a message. But there’s a very thin line between “oh that, that’s fucking sexy” and “damn! mars trashy as shit” Miley Cyrus wrecking ball video was sexy and that was art (tho I don’t get why she had to lick the hammer) and rihanna.s was the latter. If she was really trying to make a statement about sexualization, she could have been fully clothed and had male foxes naked all around with money and alcohol spilling all over them.

@dhvanl_t : And by the way, I think someone could be that foolish to make it an album cover like that and not have the intent of art. I have ‘ efinitely learnt that with people with power such as men with male privilege, we give them too much credit by expecting them to see the • • •••

Amidst all the typos, bad syntax, and harsh language from quick texting, they bring up a lot of interesting issues I would love to hear about in the comment section. Healthy debate is encouraged 🙂

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