The anti-cunnilingus stance in hip hop can most definitely be attributed to heterosexual black male politics. In short, black men who claim they don’t eat pussy do so because it’s not “manly” to do anything sexual that is not pleasurable for the man, even though you know that’s not true if you’re a grown up. This is why a lot of mainstream male rappers are lyrically all about getting their dick sucked, running trains, participating in threesomes or various other kinds of sexual orgies, and so on. For those guys, it’s all about busting a nut, not making sure the woman they’re fucking gets hers. You might be tempted to counter that these politics are not exclusive to black communities or even hip hop. Well, you’d be right, but these issues do manifest themselves uniquely in black communities for several reasons. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just suggest that you read up on the Buck and Jezebel stereotypes for more context.
So, what does this have to do with Li’l Wayne? Intellectuals—academic or otherwise—have too easily dismissed Li’l Wayne as problematic along many lines. We’ve heard and/or read it all before. He’s an admitted drug addict. He’s said terrible things about dark-skinned black women. He arguably does not have any talent, even though it’s also been claimed that he doesn’t even write his own raps. He’s a misogynist, sexist. There’s enough of this floating in the air that I won’t spend a lot of time detailing those arguments here. I’m more interested in nuancing existing conversations about Li’l Wayne, because someone needs to recognize the fact that Tunechi has recently, in some ways, begun to redefine hip hop masculinity by taking a stance that is extremely pro-cunnilingus.
Let me give you some examples that are sure to have you clutching your pearls. On “Upgrade” (2007), he raps “Let me just taste you. We can fuck later.” On “Time for Us to Fuck” (2007), he raps, “I’m on a strict diet. I can only eat you.” On “Pussy Monster” (2007), he raps, “When I lift my top lip, I could still smell you. When I swallow my spit, I could still taste you. Put that pussy in my face every time I face you.” On the “Lollipop” remix (2008), he raps, “That pussy in my mouth had me loss for words.” On “Mr. Carter” (2008), he raps, “I suck a pussy, fuck a pussy, leave it there. Long hair don’t even care.” On “She Will” (2011), he raps, “I like my girl thick, not just kind of fine. Eat her ‘til she cry. Call that wine and dine.” On “So Special” (2011), he raps, “Just sit on my grill. That’s that tailgate for ya.” I’m wiping the sweat beads from my forehead as I type.
So, what do we do now? I’m not asking that we slap a feminist label on Li’l Wayne, even if we only slap it on his willingness to pleasure a woman sexually. Throwing around the feminist label is not the best use of my intellectual time and energy—at least not right now. However, recognizing the ways in which Li’l Wayne challenges hegemonic black masculinity is just as important as thrashing his ass when he subscribes to and reinforces those very ideals. And don’t come for me with that, “It’s just sex!” line. Patricia Hill Collins already schooled us on the importance of examining, challenging, and revising black sexual politics. Along those lines, Li’l Wayne is openly calling out his hip hop brothers out on their sexual immaturity. Eating pussy may not be for every brother, but if that’s the case only because you think it makes you less of man, you need to grow up and take a cue from the President of YMCMB…
I began my writing career calling out Dr Dre for his misogyny. My friendship with Jay Z began when I reviewed Reasonable Doubt and called Jay out for his hyper-capitalism . I was not ‘calling out’ Nas by telling the truth about dpz writing whole bars (ne songs) on Untitled. I was telling a truth to someone who thought Nas’ most radical verses were his own. They were not. I’m unsurprised that these men have circled around their lie. I’m unmoved by the misogynist threats I’m receiving in open forums (last night Just Blaze tweeted I should be “bled out”). But I am done. I may not be done talking about this (unsubscribe to my feed if you like, I reserve the right to block who the fuk I want), but I am done with hip hop and men who collude to silence women. And done with women who are happy they’re not me. Don’t worry. You could never be.