Lil Yachty is a hot name right now but should he be? Aside from music, he’s got endorsements from huge companies like Target and Sprite. Music wise it feels like he’s worked with seemingly everyone already and he’s only 19. Normally, I would praise his work ethic, or talk about how he rose to be the artist he’s become in such a short amount of time…but anyone who’s heard his music knows just how problematic his lyrics can be. The lyrics from his latest song ‘Peek a Boo’ are cringe worthy, degrading towards women, and at times just outright nonsensical; it’s time for Hip Hop as a whole to check it’s rising stars.
Yachty starts out by repeating the line “Play with her pussy like peek a boo” and eventually switches to “Play with that bitch like peek a boo” neither of which really make any sense or seem to have deeper meaning. In the video he’s seen using two fingers in a “come here” type gesture as he says peek a boo… so is he just confused? Is he trying to be catchy and just said “f*** what makes sense, this is hot”? Possibly, he’s done it before. In the first verse Yatchy says, “My new bitch yellow/She blow that dick like a cello/Fuck her then send that bitch home on the metro”. Not only does this not make sense because Cellos are string instruments, he actually tried using the “cello” line on his 2016 song ‘IDK’ AND acknowledged on Twitter after the song came out that the line didn’t really make sense. Additionally, the total disregard for women that he shows in only three lines is a peak into his mindset, which is probably the most troubling part about it.
In the promo pictures for the song and video, Lil Yachty posed with topless women, dark skinned, some kinky haired women at that, but nonetheless topless. The pictures could be interpreted a number of ways; maybe he’s trying to be body positive, maybe he’s embracing dark skinned women, maybe he’s becoming more and more social aware…then I listened to the song and watched the video and it was clear that he really wasn’t going for any of those things. The women are all basically naked throughout the vid, fawning and grabbing on Yachty, while the men (Yachty and Migos who have a feature on the song) are set up to look cool, stylish, and dominant. The vid itself is a little weird, especially if you listen with the sound off and peep all his creep faces, but I digress. The women are also shown as savages; the video goes back and forth between a pick of a wild dog showing its teeth and one of the video girls showing her fangs as well. The dog comparison not so subtly refers to these women as “bitches” but don’t take my word for it, just peep the lyrics.
Yachty’s contemporaries include artists like Lil Uzi, Ugly God, and Playboi Carti. Carti and Ugly God play into the same narrative as Yachty but lately Lil Uzi has been trying to differentiate himself by addressing issues like suicide, substance abuse, and a break up with his long time and very public GF Brittany Byrd. In ‘XO TOUR Llif3‘ Uzi doesn’t use the word “bitch” one time and addresses the aforementioned issues. Conversely, in his last single, ‘Bitch‘, Ugly God uses the word “bitch” a total of 83 times in just under two and a half minutes. Playboi Carti’s ‘Magnolia‘ uses lyrics like “All these hoes want cash, all these hoes want bags/Fucking on yo’ bitch, uh I’m her dad” and “All of your bitches they loose, all of your bitches they loose” anddddd “Got a rich clique, she suckin’ on the clique/She suckin’ on the dick/Give that hoe a tip, told her buy some kicks”. Carti, Ugly God, Yachty, and a host of other rappers fall into the narrative of Hip Hop’s ongoing lack of respect for women.
Unlike what we’ve seen in the past, more and more rappers are becoming successful due to social media. They all have large followings; Yachty has 2.5 million followers on IG, Ugly God has 1.1 million followers on his main page and then 250K followers between his two meme pages @Handjob and @Herpes, while Carti has 643.5K followers. This visual representation goes a long way, especially for an audience who’s growing increasingly younger. When is Hip Hop going to recognize the impact that it’s rising stars are having on the way young adults and more specifically teens view women? Yachty, Ugly God, and Carti are perpetuating a misogynistic, ignorant mindset that needs to be addressed. If we don’t check them, who will?