A Tribe Called Quest is one of the bands I started listening to to try and “get the vibe” of New York before my trip there last year (To me that vibe apparently included some Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Blondie – but mostly 90s hip-hop.). I really loved their music. But when I got back home and listened to their second album, and I heard this song, I got a creepy sort of feeling.
Yeah… So, eh… I think the message of this song is supposed to be “don’t rape”. But there’s a lot of icky stuff in there too (or mostly). Like suggesting it’s perfectly natural to be nasty to a woman because she doesn’t want to sleep with you, or describing sex as “drop[ping] your load” (wow, that sure sounds like a reciprocal activity). And then there’s:
There goes round one, ding, there goes round two
Now tell me what the f*** are you supposed to do
What do you know, when the meow is completed
Girly girl cried rape, yo, I didn’t really need it
Baby, baby, baby I don’t wanna be rude
I know because of your bloody attitude
I know why you act that way
It usually happens on the 28th day
I respect that crazily
When you’re done with the pads can you come check me
Now, it’s really great that you respect PMS “crazily”. Perhaps it would be even more respectful, though, to not insinuate (if you could say it’s that subtle) that date rapes are usually made up by “girly girls” who change their minds after sex? To not pressure women into sex in the first place? And if a woman doesn’t want to have sex with you, maybe not tell her she’s got an attitude, but yeah, you know it’s because she’s on her period, so when she’s “done with the pads”, she should come check you… Maybe don’t do that, and that would be kind of cool? And then perhaps, when you’re done with the sexism – together with your weird perspective on (hetero) sex and consent – I can enjoy your music again.