8 hit songs with hidden meanings that should never be played again
I love it when people get real and call something out for what it really is.
Here are the eight songs they mention by name:
Some of the misogyny is hidden between verses or disguised as jokes, flirtation, or sexuality. Other times, it's unapologetically blatant.
1. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and Pharrell: As if the title and lyrics weren't bad enough, Robin Thicke went on to say how it was a pleasure to degrade women. Here's how some real rape survivors responded to his song.
2. "You Don't Even Know It" by Rick Ross: Lyrics to this song include: "I put molly [ecstasy] all in her Champagne / she ain't even know it / I took her home and enjoyed that / she ain't even know it." Ross' glorification of rape got him dropped by Reebok. He later made a statement with an apology ... sort of.
3. "The Wrong Way" by Sublime: One of Sublime's hit songs is about a 12-year-old girl sold for sex by her dad and brother. Even though the song is kinda self-aware and the narrator expresses pity for her, he still rationalizes what he does by saying that he's "only a man."
4. "Blame It on the Alcohol" by Jamie Foxx: I think Jamie Foxx can only blame himself for lyrics like: "Just one more round and you're down, I know it / Couple more shots you open up like a book." That's not consent. That's rape. In fact, studies show that rapists deliberately use alcohol as a tool to choose their victims.
5. "Baby, It's Cold Outside," written by Frank Loesser: This song is supposed to be cute, but it's really about coercing a woman into having sex. It's so bad, there's a parody sketch on it. Several, in fact.
6. Tyler the Creator: I can't limit this to just one song because his themes in general are about raping, killing, and mutilating women. Why is this allowed?
7. "Steal My Kisses" by Ben Harper: In the song, Harper sings, "I always have to steal my kisses from you / You wouldn't even come around to see me / And since you're headin' up to Carolina / You know I'm gonna be right there behind you." Note to songwriters: Stalking is not romantic. (That goes for you too, Sting.)
8. "Summer Nights" by Grease: It's all summer fun until the Greasers ask Danny, "Did she put up a fight?" It's beyond awkward — it's against the law.
When our music idols make light of sexual violence, it starts to become normalized. And that's dangerous:
Why are these kinds of songs so dangerous?
If a song like "Blurred Lines" is a #1 hit, what does that say to a rape victim? It says we, as a society, are not taking rape seriously. So how is a rape victim supposed to trust a system that's part of this rape culture? They often don't.
It's like the two poets say at the end of the video:
"We tell victims to trust a system that puts them on mute. But the system is part of the same rape culture whose songs 'blur the lines,' drowning victims' voices in the white noise of the radio ... and we all just. Can't. Stop. Singing. Along."
When we listen to these songs and dismiss them as harmless, we give power to these artists. We need to stop singing along and help change the tune by refusing to support artists who perpetuate and profit from rape culture.