In an interview he did with The Guardian, Katz (whose name offstage is Ojay Morgan), admits to attempting to reclaim the word, trying to 'numb' its effect. "Being different yourself gives you the power to make other people think differently," said Katz/Morgan, who's openly gay and identifies as "black, queer, and other."
As an outsider to ball culture, I worry that the song's message could be (and perhaps already is) misconstrued; what Katz means to be empowering could be seen as misogynist and what he intends as a celebration of a certain culture could be lost in the mainstream. Hell, even my professor admitted that at first, he took it as "just another one of those danceable, misogynist tunes." As of writing this, "Ima Read" has generated over 1.5 million views on YouTube. How many of those viewers will be satisfied with thinking it's only that, when there's a lot more going on here?
What are your impressions of the song? Do you think it succeeds in transforming the word "bitch?" Also, I'd love to hear about your semiotic interpretations of the video--even though I haven't addressed them at all in this writing I think it warrants its own discussion (we have black people in whiteface, androgynous twins, odd professor garb, and a black-and-white presentation, for starters).