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Naked Music Monday: Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”

Born in the Bronx to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother, Cardi B, a natural born hustler, has clawed her way out of poverty with stiletto shaped manicured nails and unwavering determination. In an interview with VladTV.com, Cardi says that being a stripper saved her life. At the age of 19, she turned to exotic dancing as a way to financially escape her abusive boyfriend. She made a promise to herself that she would retire from dancing by the age of 25. At 23 years old, Cardi B quit her job as a stripper and took the internet by storm via Instagram with hilarious, relatable, and opinionated videos on topics like sex work, sexism, and slut shaming.

Cardi’s brand of feminism is just what the world needs. In one of her infamous IG videos, Cardi B explains that feminism is not just for women who have college degrees: “If you believe in equal rights for man and woman that makes you a feminist. I don’t understand how you bitches feel like being a feminist is a woman who that has an education, that have a degree—that is not a feminist.”  Cardi’s inclusive style of feminism gives a voice to marginalized groups including black and Afro-Latina women and sex workers. 

Stripper Music Monday: Porcelain Raft, “The Way Out”

thewayoutA friend sent me this video last week, rightly pegging it as relevant to my interests. The song is “The Way Out” by Porcelain Raft, the performing name of multi-instrumentalist Mauro Remiddi. It is expansive and atmospheric electronic pop that might be a little too downbeat for a packed club but, as in the video, a perfect track for a quiet afternoon shift. The video stars a very capable pole dancer, employs an elegant one-shot format, and has a subdued mood. It’s more Exotica than Showgirls. Its events threatened to upset me, but the story has a satisfyingly dark conclusion. I reached out to director Michael Lawrence to ask him about his process. Watch the video and read our Q&A below.

Naked Music Monday: Insane Clown Posse

I’ve been workshopping an excuse to write an Insane Clown Posse post for a couple years now, but could never find a plausible reason to do it. But you know what? It’s 2017 now. Nothing makes sense anyway; a reality TV star is President, knitted pussycat hats are considered revolutionary, and McDonald’s sells guacamole. Anything goes! So gather around, children—I have a story to tell you. A story of two magical wizards from the annals of Southwest Detroit, men who forged their mark on our cultural schism with a palette of face paint and a lot of Faygo two-liters.

For some perspective: On September 17, Detroit’s whitest, Confederate flag waving-est rapper, Kid Rock, will be performing his third in a series of SIX no doubt sold-out concerts in the city’s brand new, tax-payer-subsidized hockey arena. Kid Rock is handily Detroit’s most obnoxious musician, and yet he was asked to christen the shiny new venue. On the same day, Detroit’s original white rappers, the Insane Clown Posse (whoop whoop), will be performing for free in Washington D.C. as part of their Jugallo March on Washington. So while Kid Rock is gaslighting us with his fake-but-maybe-not-fake Senate run, ICP has organized direct political action. Why? Because the FBI labeled their dedicated fan base a gang. (The FBI get zero whoops, thank-you-very-much.)

A pro-Trump rally is also scheduled for that day, at nearly the same location. Which … will be interesting. Because if you explore ICP’s body of work, you’ll see that they don’t have much patience for rich people (“richies” in Juggalo-ease) or racists. For the past decade, ICP have garnered some pretty condescending and embarrassing coverage. But now that the liberal media has nominated Juggalos as the first line of defense against the alt-right, people have started examining ICP and their movement more closely. Turns out they’re not idiots, nor are their fans.

Just for funsies—and so I’d actually have a sex work peg for this post—I asked Tits and Sass contributor Kitty Stryker of the Struggalo Circus to speculate if ICP would support the decriminalization of sex work. She told me their record on slut-shaming isn’t great (but what male musician’s is?), but that they would, because ultimately, “They care about individual freedom without the influence of government.” Seems fair. So maybe the ICP are allies? At least we can determine they aren’t enemies, which we could never say about the FBI.

Anyway. Are you working this week? Delight your client or your tip rail with this colorful, anti-racist, and oddly politicized ICP playlist. Support the Juggalos. Because they’re being targeted too, and they might inadvertently fuck some Nazis up for us. 

Stripper Music Monday: Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” Is A Girls’ Club

pouritup2Big news this week! Pop superstar extraordinaire Rihanna has changed careers. She’s finally going to pursue her true passion.

Rihanna became a stripper.

Naked Music Monday: Megan Thee Stallion

Fever was a long-awaited gift for rap fans, (literal) hoes, and anime fans alike. The first full-length project from Houston native Megan thee Stallion (Megan Pete) is a 14-track thrill ride that starts high and only continues to ascend. My personal favorite on the album is the third track, “Pimpin’”, three-and-a-half minutes of Juicy-J-produced greatness, positively dripping with the sexual aggression and braggadocio traditionally reserved for male rappers relaying their conquests and bank balances.

Throughout the album, Pete gives us quotable gems such as:

“Damn, I want some head, but I chose the dough instead. I could never ever let a nigga fuck me out my bread,”

“Call him a trick and he don’t get offended. He know he giving his money to Megan,” and,
“Nigga actin’ like he player when he really just a play. It’s some hoes in this house and they goin’ through your safe, ah.”

On its own, the lyrical content of Pete’s music is fun, raunchy, and ratchet. It’s nothing more than a good time on an album of certified thot bops specifically created to cater to an audience of “Hot Girls” and “Hot Boys” looking to turn up all summer long. But Pete’s persona, crafted or real, is one clearly derived from the work and subjugation of sex workers and women.

As much fun as it is to quote lines about Pete, a woman, calling herself a pimp, it’s impossible to divorce the word from a long history of violence and brutality against sex working women and femmes. Perhaps an argument could be made for reclamation of the word “pimp”, but Pete is not a sex worker of any kind. It’s not her word to reclaim.