Words by Matthew Spence
Writing this, it really dawned on me that this whole: “Protect the Kids: the Story of How music will fuck you up” journey will never end as humans continue on and do shit. Sexyy Redd’s has been having a hell of a wave the past few months. The Good: millions of streams and views, co-signed by her peers and many heavy hitters in the rap industry. For Christ’s sake, she’s been opening for Drake on the last half of his “It’s All a Blur” tour, if that’s not big time, then 2Pac faked his death and has secretly been Nardwuar this whole time [I do have a theory Kanye West and Eminem are the same person but I’ll explain that another].
The Bad: She’s destroying the image of Black Women and was planted to destroy the image of Black women, according to a few claims of upset music consumers. Like……. for seriously.
[here’s another example: the top comment on her song “Hood Rats”]
Now, Disclaimer: I’m not a black woman. Nor do not claim to know or act how it feels to be one through the good and bad. I’m just a black guy who likes to observe. If some genuinely think she isn’t suited to be a role model for anyone and beyond. I shall not take away your feelings. That being said….that statement fucking Blows me.
Sexyy Reds form of brash unfiltered and very animated raps about her sex game, her coochie, and her butthole isn’t new, like at all. Hell, just a couple of years prior, one of the biggest songs was WAP by Megan the Stallion and Cardi B.
Kia walked so Sexy could fly. Fill in the blank: “My Neck, My back…..” News flash, Ratchetness isn’t new, the approach may be different but it’s no different from Nicki Minaj rapping about her ass in 2010s nor different from Foxy Brown rapping about her how man rips through her appendix in the 2000s. I could easily pull out the argument of “Lil’ Kim and Trina did the same 20 years ago” but someone could argue “Oh they had more lyrics and did it with empowerment though” or something to that degree. Guess what, lyrical sex verses aren’t any more pleasing, no matter the context, trust me.
This Satanic Panic-esque entry gets gratuitous: “Oh Lil B is ruining Hip-Hop”, “They’re emasculating the Black Man with having Young Thug wearing a Dress”. A constant loop we’re in, decades past Delores Tuckers’ mission of slowing rap down (for misogyny and violence, understandable but still). There’s still a freight. Two words. “Chill son”. Marginalizing an already marginalized woman in an already male-dominated genre by singling her out as the downfall of black women isn’t the way. As if every black woman in Pop Culture and entertainment just vanished and God gave her head and the torch. In 2023 alone, Coco Guaff became the second youngest player in Tennis to win the Grand Slam (behind Serena “motherfucking” Williams), and Beyoncé broke the record for the most Grammy wins for a single artist.
Now, I’m not gonna say “Don’t listen if you don’t like it” because that’s too simple and not productive, if you think something is problematic, you shouldn’t ignore it. However, think deeper, if you wanna stop this wave, go to every underprivileged and low-income neighborhood/city/town and teach the: youth, teens, adults, and elderly that they need to eat their veggies and stay home and play bingo instead of living their life uncleanly. If you don’t wanna pay for all the flights, and gas money, and be told “Shut the fuck up” a gagillion times, here’s Plan B. Instead of complaining on social media, making a woman the whole face of a group of people. Try using your platform, IRL or online, to properly drop gems such as: “Hey, the music is all fun and all but remember, her lifestyle and behavior aren’t necessarily appropriate and you don’t need to be like that to fit in or feel fun”. Try it out with your kids, nieces, students, etc etc.
Black isn’t a monolith, as the old saying goes for men and women. There are plenty of Sexyy Reds as their plenty of Nonames, as there are TiaCorrines as there are Rico Nastys as there are Megan the Stallions as there’re Doechiis as there are Little Simz as there are Saweeties as there are City Girls. Same genre, All different backgrounds and lifestyles, none of them is better than the other. Different chapters in the same book. If Billie Eilish only made videos like Lost Cause and wrote about blowing dudes off every 5 seconds, would white people say she’s ruining the image of white women? Well, probably yes, like somewhere out there because again, the world is huge, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an ignorant statement.
Morality is subjective so whether Sexyy Reds’ image and behavior are good or bad is a whole different topic. Am I calling for everyone to bump Sexyy Reds music at school assemblies and at cookouts? Eh not really, do what you want (coincidentally she did appear at school for a special appearance which caused more shit towards her, which is weird cause I’ve seen rappers go to schools all the time and yet their musical subject matter isn’t any better so…yeah). However, I feel her music shouldn’t be less valid as compared to others and she shouldn’t be treated to a witchhunt because she and her lyrics are more vulgar than many and she embraces her ratchetness. In a genre, where dudes constantly use women as pawns and objects in their lyrics, why does it cause Mass Hysteria whenever a woman flips the script and embraces her sexuality and gives men the same treatment? Plus, for fuck sake: 2 Live Crew, Slob on my Knob, Ain’t No Fun if the Homies Can’t Have None, the culture has always had sleaze and sexual bluntness for decades on both sides of men and women (especially men because holy shit).
In the grand scheme, this is just another dollar in the swear jar for rap. Art that caused more controversy than the first time I got an “F” in middle school. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m left wondering if there’ll ever be a compromise where art can spark dialogue instead of castigation.