One of the few good things to emerge from 2020 is Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s latest hit, “WAP.” Released on August 6, the track went gold in under a week, and platinum two days after that. Quickly after, it became apparent that men felt grossly objectified by the song, the same way women have been for decades.
The song’s success is well earned, as Cardi and Meg are some of the biggest names in the female rap game. Both artists have built their empires by expressing their sexual desires in ways that are typically done by male artists. “WAP” is all about being confident and owning your sexuality. It’s no surprise that it made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 so quickly.
The structure of this anthem is great. Cardi’s opening verse is slow because she is laying the foundation for Megan’s punchline in the second verse.
When Megan starts, the pacing almost triples. Her fast pace and brainy lyrics such as “switch up my wig, make him feel like he’s cheating” show how this Houston Hottie is putting her college education to good use.
She and Cardi continue to juxtapose one another through the remainder of the song. Their differences in style play off of each other well and create a catchy sound.
Cardi and Megan use clever lyricism to objectify men the same way women have been objectified in rap for decades.
In their next verses, Cardi and Megan continue to explicitly describe the ideal bodies of their dream men.
While such statements sound shallow to a male audience, it is no different than the standards that male artists have set for their sexual partners.
Cardi and Megan have taken a lot of heat from the press for this song. Many platforms have criticized the message being sent to young women, saying it is inappropriate. Neither artist owes anyone a censored version of their art.
Labeling them responsible for protecting children is pushing the misogynistic idea that women should always be setting a motherly example.
“Not once in my life have I heard that Migos or Jay-Z or NBA Youngboy needed to change their lyrics because they’re parents,” Georgia State junior Chaylen Wilson said. “It’s hypocritical.”
For comparison, Kanye West and Lil Pump released a song in 2018 called “I Love It,” where Kanye repeatedly drops the f-bomb. No media outlets publicly shamed them, even though those lyrics are perverted compared to Megan’s. Neither were ever asked what kind of example they were setting for young men. The double standard in rap is alive and well.
Few complaints on the internet are coming from women. In fact, many find it empowering.
“[‘WAP’ is] sexually liberating and can make any listener feel like they’re ready to conquer the world,” Wilson said.
Rap was a male dominated genre for long enough; we allowed male artists to describe women as sexual objects for their bidding. For men, it was about confidence. For women, it’s about being self obsessed and nasty.
Yes, women are self-obsessed. Yes, women are nasty. Women are proud of themselves, proud of their sexuality and proud to have WAP.