Something of a touchy subject for this week, perhaps, but this list was inspired after hearing one song too many in this realm from one of the bands in this list. Some will have a higher, er, tolerance than others for this kind of thing, but with the amount of music I hear I frequently wince at some of the lyrics, and think that fans – and women – deserve better than this. Needless to say, this week is about bands or particular songs with a misogynistic or unpleasantly sexist male viewpoint.
Interestingly, actually, while researching this (and it really took some digging into my own collection and a few other things that came to mind that are most certainly not in my collection), I came across this blog post that highlights yet another.
A disclaimer – I’d be intrigued to hear from any of the artists, not that I think I ever will, if they feel I’ve misinterpreted them, but I’m not going to be presumptive and suggest silence is a lack of defence, by any means.
…and it was Karloz M.’s project that was the original impetus for this week’s Tuesday Ten. It was hearing one of the new tracks on promo, called The Whore’s Lullaby, that got me thinking. Manufactura’s music is always extreme – either heavy-duty, noisy industrial, or dark, oppressive ambience, and clearly a minority area of interest in the wider musical world, but that doesn’t excuse a lyrical bent that exposes a pretty unhealthy hatred of women. Like he’s been dumped a few too many times, perhaps, tracks like the above, Rape Upon Rape Upon Rape and Defile The Chastity Of Her Flesh, to name but a few (and the spitting hatred in the lyrics are worth investigating further if you want further evidence, too), leave a particularly nasty taste. Maybe it’s just to shock, but the deadly seriousness of everything about this project suggests not.
It was What The Fuck Is Wrong With You People where Combichrist went a bit too far, with tracks like Shut Up and Swallow and Give Head If You Got It, both of which became dancefloor smashes while having refrains and samples that were hardly more than demeaning to women, and perhaps insulting the intelligence of his listenership. Or maybe they weren’t. I seem to recall that this apology was apparently referring in part to songs like this, and it should be noted that these kind of lyrics were not present on the album released since.
A good (or bad, maybe) example of the boozed-up, brainless lad-rock that seems to have filtered back through to the mainstream recently, and I try my best not to listen to bands like this if I can help it (I like my indie rock without it’s knuckles dragging on the floor, if you don’t mind), but hearing a while back that they arranged a wet t-shirt contest onstage during a gig wins them a place in this list. Classy.
You didn’t think this list was going to avoid rap artists, did you? At least as guilty as other genres for this kind of behaviour, but some are more notable than others. For every Outkast who appear to actually have an appreciation of women, there’s a N*E*R*D or suchlike. There’s the odd allusion to politicians selling themselves to the highest bidder, but the NSFW video made this all the clearer that this was Pharrell Williams and his group on a boast. Buying women to do what they want, or in other words having women simply as “objects” at their disposal.
Not a lot better is Curtis Jackson, whose two biggest singles are boneheaded boasts that make him sound, well, a bit of a prick. From In Da Club: I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love / So come give me a hug if you into to getting rubbed. Wow, such a sensitive guy. And let’s not even get started on what he wants from the Candyshop. So many rappers have done good things with the genre, pushed things forward, been lyrical geniuses, even tried to make a difference through political will…and then morons like this push everything ten or twenty steps back.
Oh yes, and the intriguingly positive and spaced-out gangsta-rap-metal that these guys first appeared with quickly descended into rap metal farce as they gained some success. What was worse that some of the songs from second album Broke were utterly outstanding (Killing Time, Bartender, I Got You), but some of the rest was just sexist trash – like Crazy Legs.
Entrails Ripped From A Virgin’s C**t
Let’s take a rather large step into other realms entirely. To death metal, in fact. Er, yeah, cheers guys: like most of this band and others in the same realms, this is the musical equivalent of a horror movie, but even this is perhaps something that may not appear in a horror double-bill near you soon. But then, how do you take a band like this – presumably with a barrel or two of salt? I sure hope so.
Ladykiller (In Cold Blood)
Difficult to tell where these guys stand on this kind of thing, being another act who exist in the shadows lyrically, but really, this is a pretty unpleasant “rape” “fantasy” of a track. Picking this was a close-run thing with the various serial-killer fantasies on Suicide Commando’s Bind, Torture, Kill album, by the way.
K@#Ã˜%! [or K**t!, in other words]
A pointer towards the worst excesses that the boorish, male-dominated genre of nu-metal became (my girlfriend asked the other day how many female musicians in nu-metal I could think of. I came up with two), Jonathan Davies’ lyrics were often laced with hate and loathing, but none quite ever plumbed the depths that this did.
Figured You Out
Picking a band like this is like shooting fish in a barrel (hence why I didn’t include The Macc Lads, the musical equivalent of Roy “Chubby” Brown), but I really, really dislike this band, and here is a perfect reason why. Lowest-common-denominator angsty rock, with a really quite nasty streak in the lyrics (“I love your lack of self respect, while you’re passed out on the deck, I love my hands around your neck“). Chad Kroeger, we figured you out, too, and you are a cock of the highest order.