Did you know Lady Gaga is releasing a rap song? It’s true! After leaking various versions of the pitched-down “trap” atrocity online, Gaga seems to have gone with the one featuring her regular voice, a smart move considering bands like Salem have already been accused of racism for that very thing. (Pitching down their voices to sound “black” so they can say horrible shit they wouldn’t say in their normal voices, that is.)
Despite my musical issues with the song, I was somewhat hopeful that it was going to be a woman-positive appropriation of the genre, as Gaga included some body-positive lyrics along with the pot shots at The New York Times‘ Cathy Horyn. (With whom Lady Gaga is feuding because she still doesn’t understand something Horyn wrote about Oscar de la Renta.) But any shred of feminism it might have broadcast was swiftly canceled out today when Gaga released a “teaser trailer” for the music video shot by none other than everyone’s favorite straight up sexist masquerading as a “hipster sexist,” Terry Richardson.
In it, Gaga takes her best shot at a dance style called “twerking,” which has been a part of hiphop culture for a while, and has recently been adopted as an all-inclusive thing by queer artists like Big Freedia. (Everyone has an ass, right?) She also messes around with some strippers in São Paulo. While I don’t think this type of sexual expression is necessarily anti-feminist, doing it for the lens of a well known sexual harasser with serious coercion issues surrounding him seems like the wrong way to go about it.
Plus, she brags about being rich, a trope which we kind of tolerate in rappers who are from the projects because it’s a subversion of the status quo. Can someone please explain to her that it’s poor form for a white person who was born fairly rich already to brag about her massive wealth?
Can’t wait for the full-length music video!