Twitter isn’t here for Russell Brand’s commentary about Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s WAP music video.
On Friday, the Forgetting Sarah Marshall actor posted a lengthy YouTube video titled WAP: Feminist Masterpiece or Porn?, in which he criticized the new collab between the two rap goddesses with half-baked ideas that viewers are now calling him out for.
While discussing the “cultural phenomena” surrounding the video and “its use of sexual imagery and female potency,” the 45-year-old comedian asked whether women “achieve equality by aspiring to and replicating the values that have been established by males,” before sharing how he thinks that music videos from women in hip-hop are “an emulation of a template that already exists and was established by males.”
“If male hip hop tropes are about the potency of male sexuality… and then the female video is a sort of celebration of sexual potency… it’s an emulation of a template that already exists and is established by males.”
Basically, he’s saying the women of hip-hop are copying the men of the genre because male hip-hip artists celebrated their sexualities first.
It’s an interesting — albeit agitating — argument at first glance, but Russell seemed to be ignoring one thing: women rappers have historically been WAY dirtier than their male counterparts in their lyrics! Look at Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Salt N Pepa, Adina Howard… We mean, has there ever been a male hip hop artist who has rapped about sex as much as Nicki Minaj??
Sadly that may be because it’s what tends to make female rappers successful.
Cardi said it herself while addressing her vag-centric lyrics in a selfie video shared earlier this month, telling fans in an Instagram video earlier this month:
“First of all, I rap about p***y because she[‘s] my best friend, and second of all it’s because it seems like that’s what people wanna hear… There’s a lot of female rappers that be rapping they ass off and don’t be talking about they p***y, and don’t be talking about getting down and dirty, and y’all don’t be supporting them and they be mad dope. Bloggers don’t support them, they don’t be getting the recognition. So don’t blame that shit on us when y’all not the ones supporting them.”
Brand, however, didn’t seem to take any of this into consideration before forming his hypothesis. He said in his video:
“I wouldn’t be so reductive and simplistic to say that women celebrating their bodies using an aesthetic that’s conventionally been associated with the male gaze means it’s impossible that these tools could be used as a vehicle for liberation. But I am saying that, in a sense, it’s still the same metric — it’s still the same aesthetic, it’s still the same values, it’s still the same ideals. It’s still ultimately a sort of capitalist objectification and commodification of, in this case, the female.”
Wow… that’s the most impressive-sounding drivel we’ve ever heard! Despite his caveat, what he’s saying is absolutely reductive of these women. He’s completely ignoring their agency, like they’re completely incapable of understanding what they’re doing as much as he does.
Unsurprisingly, Russell came under fire for his comments, with many social media critics accusing him of “mansplaining” feminism.
“I really don’t want to be taught feminism by Russell Brand. But I look forward to Louis CK’s thoughts on why Beyoncé is getting it all wrong.”
“Congratulations to Russell Brand for mansplaining to women how they should enjoy WAP & their own sexuality.”
“Lol Russel Brand mansplaining feminism when he used to just sleep around with every woman he met is peak white male privilege tbh.”
“I genuinely thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse but Russel Brand has his chest out and is talking about feminism again”
“Imagine thinking ur so woke and being this dumb. The end of the day Russell you are a white cis man unable to empathise [sic] with the experiences of women and ur option matters very little to this bigger conversation. You’re being ignorant AND whoreohobic [sic] AND no one asked.”
“I’m so glad we have you to tell us your thoughts about women owning their promiscuity and sexuality. For days all I’ve been thinking is “what does Russell Brand have to say about this?”??? I’ve barely slept! Thank god for this video, now I can rest easy again.”
“Can’t emphasise how important it was for black women & all feminists to let it be known that Russel Brand is speaking out of place. Black girls & women are routinely penalised both in school system & in society for “appearing too sexual” due to differences in physical shape…”
Others pointed out that just because the comedian has an impressive vocabulary doesn’t mean he’s making a good point:
“Russel Brand once again reminding us that having a rich vocabulary and being smart are two very different things”
“I too remember when I was 17 and enraptured by Russel Brand’s brilliant use of language, but I swear you grow a few brain cells eventually and realise he isn’t actually saying anything of value.”
Sure, everyone’s entitled to give their hot takes, but a white male comedian known for his womanizing more than his act is exactly the last person we need to give us a lecture on feminism.
If you want to cringe, watch the video (below) to hear what he had to say in full.
[Image via Cardi B/YouTube]