Updated: Mar 6
By: Megan Bomgardner
By eleven years old, I knew every single word to “Bedrock” by Young Money. When the song was played by our local rap and R&B station, I would discreetly lip sync the words so my mom wouldn’t see. “Don’t be gross,” she’d say when she caught me mouthing lyrics like “maybe it’s time to put this pussy on your sideburns.” At the time, I thought the word “pussy” meant cat.
Nicki Minaj’s part of the song was my favorite. I loved her voice, her smile, her outfits. . . She embodied femininity. I also took an interest in the fact that she was the only female rapper I knew of at eleven years old. Growing up, rap culture was dominated by male rappers like Drake, Lil Wayne and Big Sean, so Nicki Minaj was an anomaly to me. I respected the fact that she could hang with the boys.
If you peruse the “Rap Caviar” playlist on Spotify, you’ll notice that almost every artist is a guy. Every once in a while, you’ll find the occasional SZA or Flo Milli feature, but for the most part, the rap genre overwhelmingly consists of male artists. There is an undeniable gender disparity among male and female rappers, but according to sources like NPR, perhaps rap and hip hop is slowly but surely becoming a more representative genre in terms of gender.
That being said, I think “WAP” is revolutionary. In case you haven’t heard of it, “WAP,” or “wet ass pussy,” features Grammy award winner, Cardi B, and Grammy award nominee, Megan Thee Stallion. The lyrics are objectively graphic; in fact, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro recited the lyrics on the Ben Shapiro Show, censoring the words he deemed inappropriate.
“This is what the feminist movement is all about,” he said sarcastically.
Yes, Ben Shapiro. This is, indeed, what the feminist movement is all about.
Almost every woman has been shamed about sex and sexuality. There’s this seemingly inescapable stigma that female sexuality is different than male sexuality--more special, more shameful. When my brother was in high school, my mom bought him a pack of condoms. I asked why she had never done the same for me, she responded, “You know, it’s just different for boys.”
Feminism, in its truest form, is about cultivating a society where men and women are equal in every sense of the word. Thus, sex and sexuality are key to the feminist movement, and in a past riddled with misogyny and patriarchal domination, women deserve to reclaim their sexuality.
“WAP” does just that. Yes, the lyrics are X-rated, but the song discusses aspects of female sexuality that were seldom talked about until fairly recently. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion leverage the term “whore” to subversively combat the idea that promiscuity is frowned upon. The phrase “I don’t cook, I don’t clean” speaks to the concept that antiquated domesticity is irrelevant to femininity and womanhood. Megan Thee Stallion establishes she’s in charge when she says “If he fuck me and ask ‘Whose is it?’ When I ride the dick, ima spell my name.”
So, to reference the title of this article--yes, “WAP” really does give me chills. For me personally, the song is empowering, and every time I listen to it, I feel more secure in my sexuality. After growing up in a conservative town and being subjected to the stigmatization of female sexuality, I hold this newfound confidence close to my heart.
“WAP” is my new “Bedrock,” and my love for female rappers is enhanced by Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. Now, though, female rappers don’t necessarily have to be “one of the guys,” or an anomaly within the rap realm. Rather, they’re creating a rap game of their own. . . A rap game that fosters female sexuality.