2018 was hands down a comeback year for rapper Tyga (his name is an acronym for Thank You God Always). Tyga’s first mega-hit was back in 2010 when he collaborated with Chris Brown and Kevin McCall in “Deuces.”
He topped the charts again in 2012 with “Rack City” from his second studio album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King. He has released a few albums since then, but none have been as popular as his hit, “Taste,” which peaked the Billboard charts at number 8. With over 800 million streams and 58 million fans on Spotify, Tyga is on top of his game, but at what expense?
WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT
There is a boatload of misogyny in Tyga’s music, and it’s surprising that society happens to be so content in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Though many men’s heinous actions have been brought to the light in the entertainment industry last year, we as a society still exalt the very behavior and sentiments that encourage abuse targeted against women.
Though many men’s heinous actions have been brought to the light in the entertainment industry last year, we as a society still exalt the very behavior and sentiments that encourage abuse targeted against women.
“Damn, bitch, talk much?”
In Tyga’s lyrics, a woman is often referred to as a bitch.
"Damn, bitch, talk much? I don't want interviews. I'm trying to get into you (into you) then make you my enemy. Not playing, got the bitch mad. Me don't like flat screen ass, I need a 3D."
The primary use of the word "bitch"" is still to degrade women. After hearing the slurs for so long, women start to believe this is the label they deserve. This type of language is verbally abusive, and it leads the way for other forms of abuse as well. In the same verse, Tyga goes on to brag about his sexual prowess.
Tyga’s verse in Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt”:
"Nipple tit clit licker, ball like a dribble. Put you in a pickle, nibble on my dickle. Why you tripping? I'm a crazy individual."
This selection from “Taste” further confirms his depreciation of women:
"And she gon' suck me like a fuckin' Hi-C. I'm the black JB the way these bitches scream. Make these bitches scream."
Behind the cherished catchiness of the tune, there are detestable themes. The only value he places in women is their thickness and their ability to please him sexually. It’s as if they’re otherwise useless. In the video, tons of women are seen in skimpy bikinis and thongs twerking nearly the entire time. They are literally spreading their cheeks for the rapper, just like he mentions in “Swap Meet.”
"Show the 2 piece, spread that ass cheek (yeah). Keep it ghetto for me, like a swap meet (yeah)."
WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT (18+)
The only value he places in women is their thickness and their ability to please him sexually.
These types of expressions can easily be considered sexual harassment. Normalization of these lyrics only makes men feel entitled to ask for these acts, leaving women in an unfortunate predicament. Too often in Tyga’s music, women are treated with blatant disrespect. In his latest single, he displays this firsthand.
“Tell her, 'Get up out my face, go be someone' (Go, go). And I need my respect, that's just how I'm comin' (Straight up).”
"And these bitches want it all, can't get none from me (None from me, ayy) Baby, hello, make it wiggle like jello (Ayy) I like 'em yellow, thick, black and ghetto (Ayy)"
"Stick out ya tongue (Ayy, ayy, ayy), girls wanna have fun (Ayy). Stick out ya tongue (Ayy, ayy), can a nigga have some? (Ayy). Girls Have Fun."
He says he needs his respect but doesn’t show the same for women. Can they get some respect, too? Is this how his audience feels about women? How can millennials listen to this without cringing? Because the beat is fire? Because it encourages sexual liberties?
The use of these lyrics encourages toxic masculinity
The use of these words desensitizes the dehumanization of women. If you still don’t see why his lyrics are so harmful, think about the impact they have on our youth, who are the majority of Tyga’s listeners. Adolescents are vulnerable to the perceptions he puts out. For young males, in particular, he incentivizes a life filled with toxic masculinity (not to be confused with true masculinity). When he brags about his material wealth or how many females he can demean, he is only reinforcing negative stereotypes about black men. He is also telling his fan base that this type of behavior is okay, giving them permission to follow in his footsteps. Tyga himself has a 3-year old son with ex-stripper turned entrepreneur Blac Chyna. What example is he setting as a father?
Toxic masculinity is not only harmful to men, but it also affects women’s sense of self. Because of the acceptance for songs like these, women have fallen into the pattern of degrading themselves to be more desirable to men. Young girls will see these video vixens and aspire to be like them. They will aspire to have longer hair, bigger butts, and for black girls, in particular, lighter skin (colorism is also a theme in Tyga’s music. Hence the lyric, “I like ‘em yellow.”). The bottom line is, they will find their worth in all the wrong things.
Because of the acceptance for songs like these, women have fallen into the pattern of degrading themselves to be more desirable to men.
Is this the impact we want to have on our youth? Should girls grow up thinking their self-worth is based on how much they are desired by men? Do we want to teach our young men that their worth is determined by material wealth and sexual promiscuity?
Times up for the disrespect
The fact that Empire, Tyga’s record label, supports music with such vulgar themes at a time when women’s equity is supposed to be at the forefront of entertainment is baffling. Those who represent him are only enabling the toxic behavior that leads to the mistreatment of the women that we say matter. The same record label also supported the late rapper Xxxtentacion despite allegations of abuse from his pregnant girlfriend.
So when we say as a society that we care about a woman’s right to feel safe, what are we doing to back that up? We can no longer celebrate the attitude that pridefully degrades women. Let’s honor rappers when they lift women up instead of tearing them down. Let’s hold his record label (Empire), agents (APA), and PR reps (Rogers & Cowan) to a higher standard. Contact them below and let them know that they've promoted misogyny and represented the disrespecting and objectification of women for too long. Let them know it's time to #TurnOffTyga.
Agency: Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) / Agent: Alex Chaykin / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: 212.205.4334
PR: Rogers & Cowan / Rep: Trixie Richter / Phone: +1.310.854.8100
Legal: Singh, Singh & Trauben / Rep: Simran Singh / Phone: +1.310.856.9705