Tyler, the Creator ft. Jasper & Taco - Bitch Suck Dick (Goblin, 2011)

"Bitch Suck Dick," as you might suppose from the title, is probably the most noxious track on Tyler’s new and highly anticipated album Goblin. This is the flipside to the nihilistic ugliness I identified in “Yonkers,” where the more distasteful content reflects its creator’s self-loathing. Here the risible material is only stupid.

The vileness begins before a word has even been rapped. “Awwwww shit,” begins the intro, while someone ad libs “SWAG!” “Three icy-ass niggas from Odd Future doing some crazy shit.” Cheap synths buzz excitably, and anyone half-conversant with the hip-hop genre understands what is happening. These rappers are telling us they have diamonds — which is meant to indicate that they are wealthy and therefore awesome — and that they are getting ready to display their awesomeness through the medium of rapping. Awesome rapping.

Then:

"By the way; we do punch bitches."

No, no, no, god no! What the fuck? You idiot, you don’t brag about hitting women! No one brags about that, why would you put that in an intro about how awesome you are? Sure, some rappers might adopt a pimp character as part of their deployment of a subversive trickster persona, and those rappers may take that into awkward territory by hinting at the violence towards women associated with the pimping profession, but they’re not claiming violence as a reason for their awesomeness. In fact, they generally try to obscure that side of it, because having lots of money and sex is what makes the pimp fantasy neat. Beating up girls ruins the fantasy. Bragging that you “do punch bitches” is DOING IT WRONG. YOU IDIOTS.

The model for “Bitch Suck Dick” is the Fuck The Club Up (FTCU) song. A staple of Southern rap, the FTCU song is kind of weird if you think about it. See, when I listen to Waka Flocka Flame’s “Fuck the Club Up,” for the duration of the song, I occupy a temporary mind state that believes it would be great fun to go into a nightclub and engage in some ultra violence. When I listen to David Banner’s “Might Getcha" I’m supposing that putting other people in a situation where they require medical attention is a good idea. When I’m listening to Three 6 Mafia’s "Tear Da Club Up,” I’m sympathetic to the idea of indiscriminate property damage. It’s analogous to the way that when I listen to Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style,” I have little problem with massive credit card fraud.

This is a bit weird, because I don’t actually like fucking clubs up. (Or credit card fraud.) For a start, if I’m at a club, I’ll probably have a better time if people don’t start pounding on each other and throwing bricks through the windows. And also, I weigh about 100 pounds. If anything goes down in the club, I will get the worst of it. “Might getcha head split?” Freal, who am I kidding? 

So, here’s Tyler and his goon mates Jasper and Taco doing a FTCU song, except they’re not doing it right. The victims aren’t anonymous patrons getting their just desserts for being haters. They’re women! “Got the burner, bitch/Pow, pow; you dead, bitch,” raps Jasper. Jasper, I’m thinking. I don’t want to do that! Why are you playing the game wrong? Can’t you just brag about your diamonds and how generically dangerous you are with your guns so I can have a good time?

I should note that Jasper isn’t a very good rapper, and nor is Taco. These are the dudes Tyler put on the Bastard song “Tina,” which is introduced with Mr. the Creator announcing that he doesn’t party, he just does “ignorant hood-rat shit.” That’s the song that features Taco rapping “I’m in the mall with my niggas, busting triggers, yeah, swag.” It sounds about as elegant as it looks. Jasper and Taco are dumb motherfuckers.

So Jasper raps his verse in a tone of voice that suggests he’s rattling off generic catchphrases rather than trying to build meaning. And sometimes he is: “I’m swagging, bitch, I’m iced out” could come from any meathead ATL post-crunk song, as could “I’m hot as fuck, I ain’t never cold, but I’m icy.” So the periodic insertion of a threat to, say, poke a woman in the eye (seriously) just comes off as odd. That is not a generic catchphrase. Somewhere along the line, Jasper has seriously misunderstood what is meant to go into making a good FTCU song.

(He also seems not to have comprehended that when rappers announce antipathy to a “bitch,” they often do not mean a woman, but are referring to a man they believe to be effeminate. Yes, yes, that’s problematic; it’s the same thing as small boys insulting one another by sneering “you’re such a girl.”)

This conversation with hip-hop tropes continues throughout the song. Tyler’s a better rapper than his compadres, and his verse contains a great joke in which he flips Cam’ron’s “I’m getting money, nigga!” cry from “Get ‘Em Girls" into the surrealist dada of "I pulled up on a motherfuckin’ unicorn/I’m gettin’ ponies, nigga!" But he also gets his tropes wrong; Tyler will threaten your lady companion with a gun, he says, but to what end? Tyler wants his shoulders massaged. Tyler, you idiot, even if you do think threatening to kill people is an acceptable thing to do, don’t you think that’s an extreme way to get a back rub? 

These guys aren’t even good at degrading women; the chorus is the naughty-sounding but tautological “my bitch suck dick like she suck dick.” That statement is both true and meaningless.

None of this is even faintly believable. I’m not saying that Tyler, Jasper, and Taco don’t make violent threats toward women in real life, though they probably don’t. I’m saying that within the context of the song, I do not believe these rappers are even fictionally doing the things they say. “Your bitch work for me, she my dish washer,” Taco raps, as if he were a restaurant manager who has just taken on a new employee, but all I can think of is three teenage boys dancing in front of a mirror pretending to be real rappers. Threaten women? They surely aren’t going near any women!

And here’s where you hate me: I think this is funny. I’m not saying it’s constructed on anything like the intellectual level required for it to be a parody that, say, transforms figurative denigrations of other men as women into literal attacks on women. But in this song, three idiots fail to get right the very simple trope of puffing out one’s chest and spouting some dumb macho shit that sounds impressive but is really preening and harmless. I think they’re doing that intentionally, because it’s funny to get such a simple thing wrong. It’s transgressive in such a banal and juvenile way that it ends up about as offensive as a small child trying out some swear words for the first time. I mean, the song proper finishes with the flourish “Fuck global warming/This the ice age bitch,” which is both a boast about owning diamonds and an insult directed toward a shift in long term climate patterns. The result is a more profane take on Lonely Island tracks like “Throw It On the Ground" or "Punch You in the Jeans.” “If humor is the mismatch between what you say and what you mean,” wrote Mike Barthel (in a piece you should read in full if you have not already), “then intentionally offensive art offers the widest possible mismatch.” “Bitch Suck Dick” is funny because it says bad things as if they were a genre convention, even though we know they are not.

Then at the end, Tyler decides to murder Jasper and Taco, and does. (Murder is a bad crime that’s even worse than violence against women.) He guns his offsiders down while the track is still in this otherworldly state where nothing anyone says or does sounds real, but it sets up the psychological drama of the album’s final 17 minutes, which is more real and harrowing than anything in the three moronic minutes and 36 moronic seconds of the uncomfortably amusing “Bitch Suck Dick.”

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A note on tags: I haven’t used my Misogyny is Awesome! tag for a while, so irony-deficient newcomers may think I mean it. I actually don’t think it’s awesome; the tag is for moments when things are both awesome and misogynistic.

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