Editor’s Note: This article contains graphic language.
Rapper and hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco recently came out with a song decrying the use the word “bitch” to describe women. His stance has won him criticism from critics and anger from one of his peers.
Fiasco’s rap “Bitch Bad” chastised other rappers for using the term “bitch” as a description for women. The theme of the song is summed up by the phrase: “Bitch bad, woman good, lady better.”
Fiasco’s rap sparked a backlash from rapper Chief Keef, who blasted Fiasco over Twitter: “Lupe fiasco a hoe ass nigga And wen I see him I'ma smack him like da lil bitch he is #300.” Fiasco had earlier criticized Chief Keef for tweeting his approval of a fellow rapper’s death in a shooting. (Chief Keef later claimed his account was hacked.)
Chief Keef wasn’t Fiasco’s only critic. Brandon Soderberg of Spin Magazine took a swipe at “Bitch Bad” as “an impressive exercise of mansplaining,” and complained that the song was “replacing one type of misogyny with another.” Mychal Denzel Smith was also not a fan of the song, arguing in the Atlantic: “he sets up a simplistic and demeaning hierarchy of womanhood, in which one can choose to be a bitch, woman, or lady – without even attempting to define what those terms might mean.”
Perhaps in response to the criticism, Fiasco sent out tweets implying that he was leaving the music world: “This album will probably be my last...its been a pleasure to have all my fans provide so much love an inspiration for me and my family” He explained his reasoning in another tweet: “but my heart is broken and i see no comfort further along this path only more pain. I cannot participate any longer in this...”
It’s heartening to hear that one rapper questions the use of the demeaning word for women. But it says much about the state of contemporary music culture that Fiasco would be attacked for his stance.