More Feminist Anthems from the Dirty South

Julianne Shepherd and Dylan Hicks on the Ying Yang Twins' "Wait"

Is there a version of "Wait" in French?

 

--Hicksy

The Ying Yang Twins: Bringing Chinese philosophy to the strip club
Courtesy of TVT Records
The Ying Yang Twins: Bringing Chinese philosophy to the strip club

From: Julianne Shepherd
To: Dylan Hicks

D-Roc,

En français, I think "wait'll you see my dick" is roughly "attendez-vous à mon cigare." Maybe they can get Jean-Paul Belmondo to do a guest verse.

To play on your play on 1984, I think everything but my ass is a feminist. To clarify: "Wait," "Get Low," and especially "Georgia Dome" are lyrically vile, violent, and inexcusable--but I still dance to them, and that's hard for me to reconcile, especially since I know the answer to the question "What Would Andrea Dworkin Do?" The Twins may imagine their lyrics proffer sex, but my body tells me that true visceral pleasure resides in the bass--and to paraphrase Cross Colours designer Karl Kani, bass sees no gender. Hip-hop professor/writer Tricia Rose called this friction "the manipulation of the funk": Does our threshold for abusive content shift right, when said content's riding a hot beat?

Maybe all those John Mayer-excusing critics don't snap on the sexist rock, either, because they're distracted by the frisson of wonky riffage. But there is a double standard for hip hop and rock--Mayer's neo-con song "Daughters" is a much subtler platform for patriarchy (not unlike Destiny's Child's "Cater 2 U"), but you can bet if Mayer sang the lyric "beat the pussy up" over polite acoustic strumming, crits would freak.

To complete that thought, if unquestioning, uncritical critics and fans see the Twins' videos and assume they're generally talking about women of color, it's not just sexism via laziness; it's quiet racism via complicity. (It's instructive that Wall Street Journal columnist Martha Bailey just called commercial rap "neominstrelsy.")

But ignorance is bliss! And tonight I wished XXL magazine came in a clean version, too. In the new issue, there's an interview with the Twins in their Atlanta studio, which includes lyrics from songs forthcoming off U.S.A.--lyrics that make "Wait" seem quaint, lyrics for something DJ Smurf gleefully calls "the date-rape song." (Related aside: Smurf reportedly wrote the beat for "Wait" immediately after hearing "Drop It Like It's Hot" in Pharrell's studio. The Flubber bounce is no coincidence.) There's no way I can buy this album in good faith after that.

Living in a Complex America Is Hard,
Shepdini

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