Lupe Fiasco – ‘Bitch Bad’ [Video]

In the tradition of artists like Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur, rapper Lupe Fiasco addresses social and political themes in his music, using it as a vehicle for consciousness-raising.  “Whether right or wrong, some things need to be said in order to start a conversation … that’s all I try to do with my music,” Lupe told MTV News.

The “Bitch Bad” video takes on the subject of gender, how “media” shapes norms and expectations, as well as misunderstandings, around gender, and how “race” and racism influence gender norms and expectations.  Here’s how one reviewer describes it:

The video is broken into three acts, with the first being how a young male first learns of the word “bitch”. His first association with the word happens when he hears her singing a rap song which has the lyrics, “I’m a bad bitch”. Hearing her sing the song causes him to associate the word “bitch” with his mother.

The second act consists of a group of girls who are huddled around a laptop watching rap music videos. They see how the bad bitch always gets the guy, which in turn causes the young girl to want to be like the character an actress is being paid to portray in the video.

The third scene shows the boy and the girl meeting when they are teenagers and how their knowledge of a “bad bitch” is completely different. (

Is this how you see it? What sort of sociological insights and critiques — about gender, culture, race, etc. — does it offer?

The video is dedicated to Paul Robeson and the “many black actors who endured the humiliating process of blackface in America.”  Robeson, an actor, singer, and political radical, was an ally of W.E.B. DuBois in struggles against economic exploitation, white supremacy and colonialism.

If DuBois were to see this video, what do you think he would say about the “problem of the color line,” the relation of the “darker and lighter races” in the US today?


5 responses to “Lupe Fiasco – ‘Bitch Bad’ [Video]

  1. This video displays many problems. If DuBois were to see this i think he would say that the reason African American people are not advancing in society and continue to be racially discriminated against is because they are conforming to these negative conceptualizations that other races have formed of them. He would say that people of color are not reaching their full potential and should be focused on academic advancement as a way to break free from the negative stereotypes associated with their race. This video not only portrays blacks in a bad light but also women, and so then women of color experience even more inequality and discrimination.

  2. It’s unfortunate to see how young people are heavily influenced by the media and emulate their behavior based on their gender. This video brings awareness to how certain artists in the industry are negatively influencing our youth. I agree with the comment above me that DuBois would be disappointed with these negative stereotypes and that African Americans aren’t reaching their fullest potential in society. The media has a large influence in what we see and read about, and it’s good to see artists bringing awareness to these negative stereotypes.

  3. Lupe is an amazing artist and what he did here is nothing short then amazing. I don’t think DuBois would be disappointed completely, i feel as if he would feel pride and joy because a rapper artist of such a high altitude is touching up on a really sketchy topic. But then again he would be disappointed because this is still valid in many colored communities today (look at some Chief Keef’s song as a reference). Lupe is not supporting the idea of a “bad bitch” he is going against it and is showing what is wrong with the whole image and how it being conceptualized by younger girls and what not. In a more in depth look he is also showing how the idea of a “bad bitch” goes down from females to males and therefor beginning a unstable upbringing for many young children.

  4. Lupe has demonstrated the real fact of life. Many kids are brain washes by the media and try to copy what their see in videos and movies. It seems fun in videos and movies many kids would go for it. plus, kids at a young age do adopt to the atmosphere their live and see in. However, Lupe has shown that being bad is not good all the time. i think DuBos would be supportive with the facts lupe demonstrated “Bitch bad, woman good
    Lady better, they misunderstood” because he is showing that the stereotypes that is portrayed in the society is from people learn from their surrounds. The stereotypes of color and race is misunderstood because of the media and the atmosphere is making people think it is right.but i do understand that DuBois would be disappointed with the fact of the negative types African american are portrayed in Lupe shows it in the video.

  5. Lupr FIasco has always been know in the hip-hop community for addressing social issues with his songs. In this song he addresses how women are portayed in the african american community. I think W.B. Dubois will appreciate this video. Particularly he will like how lupe points of that black people are hold themselves back as group. How the subject to the music industry protrays what a “Bad Bitch” is. He was would also note how discrimination goes beyond just white and black but male and female as well. Personally as somebody who grew up with and listens to mostly Hip-Hop music, I think a “Bad Bitch” is a women who is not only attractive but they are comfortable in their own skin regardless or their body shape.

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