Remember a few months back when Lupe Fiasco dropped “Bitch Bad” and magazine and scholars came out of the woodwork to diss Lupe for “mansplaining”? Spin Magazine took it the farthest calling it “reckless social commentary” and asking, “why must we continually endure Lupe Fiasco’s half-baked conscious hip-pop?”
A few weeks later 2 Chainz and Kanye dropped the video for “Birthday Song“. A video in which women are reduced to bouncing breasts and backsides, and where one women is actually laid out on a table covered in frosting. I wondered, where was the outcry from these same academics that were so critical of Lupe? Spin Magazine actually wrote they were, “basking in the swaggering surreality” of the video.
I actually did a web search to see if I could find critics of the “Birthday Song” video and came across one of the most brillant open letters I have ever read. “For Corporations, When Colored Girls are Degraded: An Open Letter to CEO Lucien Grainge of Universal Music Group“, was not just a critique of 2 Chainz but a straight up exposé of the powers that profit off of this exploitation of women of color.
I happened to meet the letter’s author Nuala Cabral a few weeks later and found out she was the founder of FAAN Mail. FAAN Mail (Fostering Activism and Alternatives Now!) is a media literacy/activist project formed by women of color and based in Philadelphia. Recently she sent me the above video, a powerful response by women of color about what they want for their birthday.
According to FAAN Mail, “this video is a response to “Birthday Song” and all other “hits” that dehumanize our people. We advocate for collective responsibility and urge one another to speak up, to talk back and support media that values our humanity and diversity.”
BTW this pic
Reminded me of this pic
without all the outrage of course