Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Media Moment: 2 Chainz


Hey guys, it's Emily. I am sure most of you have heard this song, "Birthday Song" by 2 Chainz, one of the most popular songs right now. Though I knew the lyrics in the song are degrading to women ("All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho"), I recently watched the music video for it and it portrays the objectification of women and their bodies to an extreme. The women in the video are only shown with a close up on their shaking behinds. Towards the beginning, a woman is carrying a butt-shaped cake and the camera is focused only on the cake and her cleavage. When the camera finally follows 2 Chainz to the backyard of the birthday party, there are men wearing business suits lined up in chairs while random women in bikinis bounce on their laps in an sexual manner. Even though Kanye West's verse is degrading in itself (it is a plea to his girlfriend to allow them to have a threesome), his verse portrayed in the music video shows him riding a bicycle carrying a chariot-like structure surrounded by nameless woman, suggesting that these women are his slaves.
I think the worst part about the nature of 2 Chainz' music and this video is the fact that he is close to forty years old. He is not encouraging this behavior to younger people, like most rappers, but to older men. 2 Chainz is more than double the age of the women in the video and could easily be their father.

What are your reactions to the portrayal of women in this video?
Do you recall any other recent videos like this? (Post them!)
Is it the responsibility of the women hired in the videos to stop this degradation? If not, how can these depictions change in Hip Hop culture?

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