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06:10 PM on 11/01/12
#1
Jason Tate
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Good album, but man some of the lyrics are so hip hop cliche about women, I have to skip them.
12:23 PM on 11/02/12
#2
Jason Tate
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not sure if you get the album, then

Not sure you understand what I'm talking about, then.
12:25 PM on 11/02/12
#3
Jason Tate
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Yeah this definitely isn't an album you skip tracks on even if you don't like the track in particular.

Sure it is - I have a big problem with the word "bitch" (see any of LoveAsArson's commentary in the Political Forum) used in this manner. It's hard to listen to ... but thanks for telling me how I should listen to music.
12:28 PM on 11/02/12
#4
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Those songs -- which are like 2 or 3 out of 16 if I remember correctly, compared to those whose are every track -- are him looking back at himself and mocking the stereotypical misogyny that exists in some hip hop. If you ever want to, you should check out the story behind all of the lyrics on the album. It's conceptual. His mind is really incredible.

Also Glassjaw, anyone? haha.

Sure, link me the concept between repeating "bitch don't kill my vibe" so I can see the incredible mind behind this ... I'm open to reading and learning.

Also, I obviously have long had similar contempt (very publicly) for Glassjaw.
01:40 PM on 11/02/12
#5
Jason Tate
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It's not aimed at women, "bitch" is aimed at his competition and the bigwigs in the rap industry.
The term itself is what I have an issue with, regardless of its intention being "the industry" or not. Using such a term to degrade anyone continues the trend of this phrase being seeing as ok in our society. I take issue with its use. That said, it's only featured (along with other derogatory terms) in a few songs -- and therefore, easy enough to skip while enjoying the album.
01:40 PM on 11/02/12
#6
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Its the same concept used in OFs music, which he also had a problem with. Dont be surprised
Hiding behind "concept" while propagating antiquated hatred is just ignorant.
01:52 PM on 11/02/12
#7
Jason Tate
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I asked you this a while back too but I'm curious if your response has changed: why then, is the word "******" censored on this website but "bitch" is not?
Because we take a very minimal approach to censorship; which I struggle with to begin with.
02:00 PM on 11/02/12
#8
Jason Tate
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Nah, it's not an OF tactic whatsoever. He's not about that at all.

Anyway, I feel like I made my point. I understand you having reservations with the term, but I think it's good to see someone trying to intelligently subvert it to another source, rather than women - it's basically slowing transforming the meaning (but you have to tailor it to an audience who uses it frequently for them to be open to it, in a creative way so that it catches on). I don't know how to explain it without going into more detail, but changing the psycho-sociology of a community isn't easy.
This is the same argument people try to make with the term "gay" or "retarded" or "***" - and I disagree on a fundamental level that it's transforming the meaning. The meaning is still completely intact. In this case the term is being used to degrade a group of people (competition? industry?) by calling back to the fact that the term is, inherently, degrading and negative. The association remains regardless of who is being targeted, and I believe it takes a certain level of logical gymnastics to assume that the vast majority of those listening to the music will not draw a parallel between talking down to someone ... and the word's association with the degradation of woman. The song, impact, and lyrics can still carry the author's intended weight without having to resort to using these kinds of words ... that's my personal opinion on the matter. We all interact and respond to art differently, I have strong feelings on the weight and power of words -- so I respond viscerally to them.
02:10 PM on 11/02/12
#9
Jason Tate
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I added to my response above. Thoughts?

He knows he will reach a wide audience, and when he speaks to the 100,000+ Black youth that look up to him, he'll tell them referring to women degradingly isn't what music or life is about. And if they go "huh?! What about your lyrics?" then he'll explain it exactly as I said- "At one time, but now I haven't once pitted it against women, at all. I was reflecting on my days as a deluded young child in the hood (like yourself)."

I don't think ignoring those from the hood who start to have socially conscious revelations about gender, sex, race, etc is the answer. It's so common, and it isn't fair. One blocks out a lot of powerful voices that way.
Is this posted on his website for people to read? Has he written this somewhere so people aren't having to ask him? I'd like to read this, if it is. Because if more than 1% of the people that listen to this music ever get the chance to personally ask him his thoughts and the meaning behind using such terms, I would be absolutely shocked. Furthermore, just because that's his reasoning behind using the term - doesn't also make it right in my mind. The same way I take issue with people saying the word "retarded" has changed.

I don't think ignoring those "from the hood" is the answer either ... never once have I advocated for that. But it's important what those powerful voices are actually saying, and how their words are being actually interpreted.
02:15 PM on 11/02/12
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Also, you don't believe in words losing power as far as cognitive linguistics is concerned? With something like "bish" that has no historically negative associations with it, I find it hard to believe that it would carry the same weight as anything of supposed similarity.
Words can lose power, but it's not through continued association with negativity. And the most common examples used (bitch, retarded, gay, etc.) are no where near close to having lost their extremely hurtful and negative association. Instead people use this "oh, the term means something else now" shit to let themselves off the hook, and in turn get angry at anyone that still finds offense in extremely hateful words.

I have no real comment or thoughts on the word "bish."
02:16 PM on 11/02/12
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Hiding, art, 1960s etc
Is this supposed to say something anyone is going to understand?
02:31 PM on 11/02/12
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In the songs you dont get down with, hes putting on the facade of himself as a young, ignorant male. Hes not that kind of rapper, but hes telling a story. The point of the album is that story. He cant will smith rap about growing up in 90s compton. I get you have a problem with the word, but blindly dismissing parts of the album because he says them is ignorant if you dont understand the context. Theres a huge group of rappers against the use of the word bitch. I believe he might be one of them
The chorus I "don't get down with" repeats a phrase over and over again ... where's this facade or "story" here? And, if that's the case, then simply don't use it. The word does not add anything to the album, regardless of context. It does not make a better point, does not tell a better story, does not stylistically add to the song, and does not form a more dimensional character. It does however reinforce an extremely derogatory word into a great catchy chorus that is the status message of millions (see: twitter) of impressionably stupid youth. Great. Really pushing the message forward with that one.
02:33 PM on 11/02/12
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The argument shouldnt be about the power of words or changing definitions. It's about the authentic story and characters Kendrick is trying to portray in his songs. The word is used consistently and ignorantly in songs like Backseat Freestyle to show his youth and ignorance.

Edit:
And skip the songs you want to, man. Thats on you different strokes
If that's the only way he's capable of making a character look authentic and ignorant and youthful ... then he's a bad writer.
02:44 PM on 11/02/12
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Not once did i say that it was the only way. Theres a ton of lyrical and musical elements in there that convey the point. The obscenity is just one part of that. Censoring himself for this type of record is simply ridiculous. David Simon didnt dumb down or censor any of the language for his characters in the Wire

And pretending the two are on the same level is ridiculous by itself. I'm done arguing with people over why I don't like certain words or songs.
02:45 PM on 11/02/12
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The story is posted a bunch of times in the official thread. Im on mobile but im sure you can find it. I completely disagree. The use of the word adds every one of those things that you mentioned. We both agree the overuse of the word is ignorant. Thats the point of its use. Thats why its used in the first half of the album. It shows the evolution of an ignorant hoodrat into the success he is now.
Well, from a literary standpoint I believe it fails.
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