Tag Archives: Beyonce

Rap Game Monica Lewinsky

Lewinsky during a TED talk on shame and cyberbullying.
Lewinsky during a TED talk on shame and cyberbullying.

During her recent TED talk, Monica Lewinsky, aka the Most Famous Intern in the World (after Joe Biden), said that she’d been referenced in almost 40 rap songs. “Hi, I’m Monica Lewinsky,” said the former handbag designer. “Some of you younger people might only know me from some rap lyrics.”

Turns out, she’s actually referenced in three times that amount. According to the annotation website, Genius, Lewinsky’s name has appeared in at least 128 (!) rap songs, mostly as a synonym for fellatio.

Some songs use the scandal as a historical touchstone, as when Celph Titled raps, “Shit was good when Billy Clinton was gettin Lewinsky pussy.” But mostly, references to Lewinsky in hip-hop have one of two meanings. The first is global shorthand for all things fellatio and can be found in English, Polish, German, Spanish, and French rap songs. “The cigar” makes only a single appearance, but at least 70 songs use her name as a verb related to oral sex: i.e., to Lewinsky, to give Lewinsky, to get Lewinsky. Sometimes her name is synonymous with coming, both as a verb and — when paired with face, dress, or gown — a noun. See: Beyoncé, in “Partition,” whose sex partner “Monica Lewinsky–ed all on her gown.”

The other use of Lewinsky is as a derogatory term for an inferior person — either an insult against lesser emcees (referred to as “Lewinskys” or accused of sucking like Monica) or a stand-in for a prostitute or willing sexual partner. Songs casually use Lewinsky to refer to the women who throw themselves at prominent men in clubs, to insult women who kiss and tell, or to label the “obvious sluts,” who are power-hungry. One song, “It Has Been Said,” by Aaron Omar, even uses Lewinsky as a virgin/whore moral lesson, warning listeners to avoid becoming a Lewinsky: “You should be a Michelle Obama.” And of course, there’s the now-infamous Chris Rock mock interview, in which he used Lil Kim samples as Lewinsky’s answers to demonstrate just how crass Lil Kim was (its own kind of inverse slut-shaming).

What a terrible fate. You make a mistake at 22 years old and BOOM, your name becomes a stand-in for rappers searching for “clever” ways to discuss oral sex. I will spare you the 3,000 word think piece on fame and sexual power I have loaded in the chamber. Besides, as usual, Chappelle said it best:

New York Magazine has the entire list.

via The Cut

101 Problems: Is This the End of Bey Z?

Jay and Bey on the run
“Sometimes I trip on how happy we could be.”

Rumors began swirling once more this week about the future marital status of America’s Favorite Couple, Bey Z. It was reported in the New York Post that after the couple’s On the Run Tour ends the two will be going their separate ways. Apparently months of marriage counseling haven’t helped and the couple is just going through the motions until a more convenient time to split. Having long heard whispers of infidelity and marital strife, I wrote it off as tabloid nonsense… but lately the rumors have been getting more difficult to ignore.

Jay Z and Beyonce are two very shrewd and image savvy public figures. Could this be an attempt to generate publicity for their tour and subsequent concert film? There is a side of me that is both cynical and naive enough to believe this. But here’s the thing: When have Bey Z ever had to manufacture controversy just to court attention? Hell, Jay Z removed the hyphen from his name and it fed the blogosphere for over a week. Such is the power of Hov and Bey.

My first inclination is to hyperventilate and yell the same thing everyone thinks when they learn a favorite celebrity couple is splitting… “Well if they can’t make it WE ARE ALL DOOMED!” But the truth of the matter is– despite the many hours I’ve spent listening to their music– I really don’t know shit about either of them. Oh, I know far more about them than they’ll ever know about me because our relationship is completely asymmetric. As are all fan/celebrity relationships. As much as I love The Blueprint, if I ever approached Jay Z to tell him as much, his bodyguard would snap my wrist in half before I could shake Jay Z’s hand.

Divorces are sad (well, kinda). And relationships are difficult which is why most of them end. That doesn’t stop me from being genuinely upset that Blue Ivy may not grow up with her parents together. But the fact still remains that these people, as my mom would say, “don’t know me from Adam’s house cat.”

I’m not willing to declare that love is dead just because a wealthy, powerful couple has made the decision to call it quits. Over the previous twelve years Jay and Bey have seemed liked the ideal loving couple. But lately their marriage has displayed more struggle than fans trying to keep up with the key changes in “Love on Top.”

It sure is going to be awkward when that On The Run concert film comes out in September. You know how it is when you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while and they innocently ask how your girlfriend is doing, not knowing you broke up a few weeks before. Well it’s going to be like that, but 100x more unpleasant.

It’s important to once again remember that these are just rumors and yet I can’t help speculating on the possible causes of the split. Was it infidelity? Irreconcilable differences? Maybe they couldn’t find a way for their massive egos to co-exist? Maybe they are two assholes who can no longer stand each other? The tour doesn’t end until another two months (!) but we still may never know.

And after all the think pieces about power, fame, wealth and its utter futility in keeping couples together, I’m still not sure we will have learned anything new. Because really we already know the lesson: Keeping a promise to someone that you’ll feel the same way about them for the rest of your life is incredibly difficult. And if Jay and Bey can’t do it… well, it says absolutely nothing about your ability to.