Let Me Just Taste You

“If we spend all of our time talking about what we’re against, we can’t articulate what we’re for.”

636109565185315570-863448261_lil-wayne-may-retire-090316

This has been hands down the most unconventional scholarly article that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. As soon as I saw it on our list of options, it immediately grabbed my attention. I found myself laughing to myself uncomfortably while reading through this analysis and second guessing my choice. Then something surprising happened, I stopped being uncomfortable and realized the true importance of the message that the author is attempting to convey. The main idea of this article is not necessarily about cunnilingus at all but rather the power dynamic between men and women when it comes to sex and sexual activities. Men generally have the dominant role while women take on the subservient role; thus shifting the power dynamic in a way that gives men the upper hand over women in all (or almost all) sexual situations. The importance of Lil Wayne rapping about being pro-cunnilingus lies in the fact that he is an influential African American rapper, going against the hetero-patriarchal norm that rappers that came before him set as a standard for the rap community. The article analyzes both sides of this controversy; the good that this pro-cunnilingus movement does as well as the less positive outcomes that it causes. On the side of good the author states:

“The pro-cunnilingus stance articulated by these artists illustrates the significance of women rappers challenging existing hetero-patriarchal norms that render women’s sexual desire and pleasure invisible.”

“The pro-cunnilingus stance of women rappers functions as the kind of resistance that advances the empowerment of women by centering and celebrating their sexuality in a space that often denigrates it”

However, on the side of bad outcomes the author states:

“By situating oral sex in this way, Wayne makes cunnilingus less about women’s pleasure and more about men’s theories about women’s pleasure. Additionally, while it is not the receiving of oral sex that becomes a weapon—like on Biggie’s “Another”—the giving becomes the weapon, the mechanism with which women are controlled. As a result, women’s sexual desire and pleasure is marginalized and men’s is re-centered, perpetuating hetero-patriarchal sexual politics.”

Here is a link to the popular song “Lollipop” that Lil Wayne explains certain sexual endeavors in explicit detail:

 

 

Essentially what the author is trying to convey to her audience is that while Lil Wayne may go against the norm of what rappers before him laid out as standard, he may not actually be shifting the power to a place of equality but rather just shifting the power to men using a different avenue. However, the debate is still extremely relevant and important because the upset in the politics of rap has made more room for things of this nature to be openly discussed whereas they were not before. On this note the author states:

“The anti-cunnilingus hip hop stance, then, functions as a mechanism that maintains the silence and invisibility of women’s pleasure and renders them/it practically invisible while simultaneously prioritizing the male orgasm.”

In other words, before Lil Wayne, the topic of women’s pleasure was invisible and completely unspoken about. So whether or not Wayne himself endorses unilateral sexual dominance or he is a feminist himself is truly inconsequential in this discussion. The main point is that he began the controversy that got the conversation started and was able to help facilitate it to move in a somewhat positive direction.

4170060-8831283607-lil-w

Several other really great quotes that I found useful to this topic are as follows:

“Hip-hop pornography resembles the kind of rap music that prioritizes male sexual pleasure at women’s expense.”

“Hip Hop generation young women and girls appear to be rummaging around a junkyard of race and gender stereotypes for alternatives to systematic practices and biases in media, in their communities, and in their relationships, which have devalued them and shorn to scraps their selfhood. Sex becomes an easy standby, a helpmate in the search for power for those who feel legitimately disempowered.”

“It was not until Lil Wayne earned a position of leadership—founding his own company and serving as CEO—that he became invested in rapping about women’s sexual pleasure and desire vis-a-vis cunnilingus.”

lil-wayne-2015-03-05 (1)

Somewhat unrelated to Lil Wayne himself, I also feel that another big concept to consider throughout this analysis is that the author was strictly focusing on African American rappers as the “problem” and on the white population as “consumers.” I find this to be extremely detrimental thinking. It feels as if the author is attempting to say that this is an African American issue that Whites take no legitimate part in other than being unwitting consumers of rap. I call BS on this idea; I would argue that as a society we have an issue with conforming to hetero-patriarchal norms. I would also argue that most of these hetero-patriarchal norms come from influential, rich, white men. To blame these sexual dominance issues such as the invisibility of women’s pleasure strictly on African American male rappers is not only extremely inaccurate but also extremely offensive.

The following quote from the author is one that sparked my interest in this particular topic:

“Whites comprise the largest segment of the buying public and their desires for racialized sexual spectacle drive the mainstream hip-hop industry.”

5ff822007d72f6fee9c76e46fd9f924c

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Let Me Just Taste You

  1. Jordan, thanks for this detailed, quote-filled critique of the essay and, by extension, rap music and patriarchy. I’m glad you read deeply enough to see that the paper isn’t simply about Lil Wayne and his lyrics celebrating cunnilingus. It’s valid to note that, as a male, his lyrics may make “cunnilingus less about women’s pleasure and more about men’s theories about women’s pleasure,” as Heidi Lewis wrote. That complicates things, in a way. Or maybe not. Based on the other posts I’ve read this morning, I’m thinking that Lil Wayne’s lyrics are taken as female empowerment by women. And that’s impactful, no matter what the motivations are.
    Also key: Lil Wayne’s independence as a musician, rising from owning his own record company, is operative in his ability to rap freely and honestly about his values.
    I’m impressed that you called bullshit when the author lets unwitting white consumers off the hook. Bam! We are all in this together, thank you. “I would argue that as a society we have an issue with conforming to hetero-patriarchal norms. I would also argue that most of these hetero-patriarchal norms come from influential, rich, white men.”
    Exemplary post.

    Like

    • I also read this article and loved it! Through the 4 years i’ve been in school I have never read the word “pussy” so many times in a scholarly article. Although I don’t think that Lil’ Wayne is really a feminist his lyrics are slowly changing the way music and society thinks of female sexuality.

      Like

  2. Hello Jordan,
    Looks like we both chose the same article for this assignment and were both able to grasp the underlying message in two unique and different ways. Heidi R. Lewis is truly a deep thinker and put a lot of thought and research , as well as herself, into this scholarly essay.

    I was really impressed with your vocabulary and the quotes that you pulled from the essay, for they added to your arguments and opinions l in such an eloquent way. I felt as though I was reading another scholarly essay when reading your blog. You are a true writer. Excellent job and thank you for taking the time out to read and comment on my blog.

    Like

  3. Hello Jordan,
    This was a very interesting post, while I did not choose to read this paper for this assignment, I feel that I was able to get a good idea of the points mentioned in it via this post. I had never known that this song by Lil’ Wayne was known for anything other than its beat and musical appeal. I found it very interesting that this song is regarded as a pivotal or even influential song when it comes to the topic of women’s sexual pleasure and desire and how it is portrayed in rap.

    Great post, it was laid out well, clear, and very informative.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s