T.I.'s "No Mediocre" Is the Most Sexist Anthem Of 2014 So Say Goodbye to "Blurred Lines"
Move over "Blurred Lines," because there's a brand new song guaranteed to piss women everywhere off. The latest song guaranteed to make you mad is T.I.'s brand new single "No Mediocre" featuring Iggy Azalea. The song, which was released Monday, has just been joined by an equally-as-sexist video. Let's just say that I will not be labeling "No Mediocre" as the song of my summer.
I am not at all surprised by the objectification of women within T.I.'s new music video, which features scantily clad models fawning over T.I. and one another. (The latter is very reminiscent of Shakira and Rihanna's "faux-lesbian posturing" in the "I Can't Remember To Forget You" video, which was equally as controversial and irritating.) The music industry isn't exactly known for framing women like real people (as opposed to sexual objects) within their videos, even when it comes to music videos featuring female artists. So while the video made me mad, it didn't really register as anything worthy of new outrage... that is, until I got curious and decided to find out what T.I. and Iggy Azalea were actually rapping out in the video.
I looked up the lyrics and realized, huh — this song is way worse than I thought. Here's just a small sample of the lyrics you have to look forward to in T.I.'s new song:
I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hairNo more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down thereGirl I should see nothing but pussy when I look down there
Essentially T.I.'s new song is about making sure that he only has sex with "bad bitches," and, by T.I.'s definition, that's a woman who makes her body look a very specific way for a man. There's something very disturbing about the way T.I. talks about his "bitches" in this song — there's a clear demonstration of his power within the lyrics. He has the power and the money, and therefore gets to dictate how his women (of with the lyrics suggest there are many) act and look.
Get her out dem tennis shoesThrow some heels on a bitchI’m the type of nigga split a mil with a bitchHold up, only if she bad though
There are some really weird, controlling undertones to this song, and given that the lyrics are hard to identify when you listen to the song, it's easy to miss the message of T.I.'s verses completely. If you thought that Iggy Azalea's verse would make up for the sexist undertones of the rest of the song, well, you'd be wrong. If anything, Azalea's verse only further exemplifies that women are allowed to be showered with money, gifts and attention — but only if they fit the mold allowed by a man. Here's a snippet from her verse in "No Mediocre:"
Heels on me saying gimme 6 inches of spaceCourtside while designer frames cover my faceNow everybody in the game wanna get em a tasteI’m still Grand Hustle first lady fuck you pay meBet he won't go 12 rounds with the million dollar babyI can change your life quick stop playing with meAnd if you ain't talking money what you saying to me
It's pretty disappointing that the song — which, I'll admit, has a catchy hook — has such an awful message. It's not just women that songs like this hurt — men who digest these messages take away that this is what it means to be masculine, and oftentimes that means degrading or objectifying women. Quite frankly, we all deserve better from our music.