~~ Originally printed in The Chapel Hill (NC) Weekly, January 2012 ~~
So Beyoncé and Jay-Z have a baby girl: Blue Ivy Carter. Personally, I think Ivy Blue would have been more harmonious, but who am I to tell Jayz and Beyoncéz about harmony?
Yes, I like pop music. I might pretend the radio is on Pulse 102 because of the children, but I’m lying. I like it a lot. Well, except for John Mayer – he’s so puffed up and emo-ish, Katy Perry – gah! she bugs the crap out of me, and Kanye West – am I the only one who cares that he can’t rhyme? However, I’m trying not to hate on Kan so much because I really like that new single he has with Jay-Z, a song that shall not be named by moi, a middle-aged white woman, because it would be embarrassing.
All else aside, there is a point in this song where Mr. Carter makes a reference to having a “hot bitch” at home, a claim Mr. West scoffingly counters with the insinuation that he “owns” multiple “hot bitches.” If I’m paying attention, it makes me squirm. It’s just so… wrong.
Maybe I shouldn’t listen to it. I’m a Carrboro mom, after all, and there are young ladies in the house, which means animated dinnertime conversations about Desperate Housewives and lip gloss, sure, but also about workplace equity and reproductive rights. I know they don’t think I condone those caveman attitudes. Really, though, the beats are just so catchy.
But good news! Now that Jay-Z has Blue Ivy, he isn’t going to use “bitch” in his lyrics ever again. That’s what Ryan Seacrest reported on G105, where all instances of the b-word are bleeped anyway. Also, on the radio, the title of the aforementioned song is given simply as “Paris,” which is only a dirty word for certain Republican has-beens.
Maybe Jay-Z will take a page from his protégé, North Carolina native J. Cole. The St. John’s magna cum laude and Best New Artist Grammy nominee’s platinum hit is “Work Out.” In this song, and perhaps this song only, the b-word is “baby girl.”