Friday, August 29, 2008

The miseducation of Li'l Kim

"Kim is a revolutionary figure in the sense that she's a woman who is articulating the same perverted thoughts that men have been rhyming about for years"
CMJ Magazine

"Luckily for Kim, when neither her lyrics nor her beats suffice, she can always fall back on her ass"

"Punk rock feminists and rappers like Li’l Kim operate
outside female music traditions by virtue of their masculine genres, their unbeautiful aural presentations, and use of dirty and sexuality explicit words"

Art Theory in Music

"The more Lil' Kim distorted her natural beauty to become a cartoonlike caricature of whiteness, the larger her success"
ROCK MY SOUL - Bell Hooks

"People might say she’s empowered, but really she’s just recreating male fantasies by getting her nose and her boobs surgically altered. Lil Kim isn’t even known so much for her songs as she is for her hypersexual persona"

In her own freaky way, Lil Kim is as shocking and in your face as Courtney Love ever was. The thing is, she works in a milleu that isn't dominated by brooding (white) guitar boys, but by gangsta rap boys. Accordingly, her musical reaction differs as well.

And just to confuse or confirm the subject even further for you, check out this post-modern head-fuck of a video (which the artist conceived herself). I appreciate why Miss Kimberely Jones is problematic in doctrine and why she is condemned by so many (especially in light of recent Detox posts where one could assume I would do exactly that). But as an artist of sorts (or a mere sexualised commodity to most) she blows my mind. Her fashion is at least comically inspired and lyrically I have to admit she is still my fav (sometimes rendering me frozen and bawking for up to 10 minutes - not many things can get that reaction from me). She's so controversial its embarrassing to say so, duh. She's offensively creative with her image plus she gets people arguing about the grey areas of power, sex, image, race, success and what they call "third-wave feminism". Just working out how I feel about our Kimmy for this post was confusing (which is why I chose to go there). The fact is pop-culture created this couture monster and she has inspired feminist thesis and femcees since Biggie introduced her to the rap world. Plus at the end of the day its just fucked up show biz right?

Li'l Kim: somehow inspiring non-stop intellectual fist-fights for over 10 years.

ps the weird pop ups and text in the vid aint me


kinakoJam said...

'put me on the grocery list'... hah! the credits at the end are gr8.

as much as she might die her hair crazy shades of malibu brass door knocker, she would never look like paris hilton and that's why i think it rocks that she does her own thing

society might be hyper-sexualised but does it help our sense of worth if people who don't fit the predominant stereotype just roll over and put on chastity belts?

sometimes i worry about what my teenage sister gets up to sex-wise but apart from that i just don't think these things can be seen in black & white.
it's all to easy to be alarmist but there are lot of complex issues regarding self-expression, sexual liberation, codification bla bla bla

hyper-sexuality. it's pure pop spectacle- pop is supposed to be trash - and it doesn't mean that figures like Angela Merkel or Carol Hirschfeld can't cut a strong path in other areas of the media/public stage (for better or for worse!)

taking this controversy to its most extreme conclusion (porn etc commodifying women)
there is a flip side: when people repress their sexuality there often seems to be negative consequences.

ironically from my experiences (!) guys who have watched a lot of rap videos celebrating a generous posterior, are waaay more realistic about how to find a women sexy physically.
and the world of porn is not all airbushed perfection either, it's often scarily real.

it has often seemed to me that the guys who are holier than thou are the ones who secretly want kate moss crossed with some mindfucking alcoholic princess from a Hemingway novel oh and maybe with a little bit of Lucy Liu.


coco said...

I pretty much totally agree.
Hypersexuality sometimes is the only way to show up an over-sexualised society and say 'whatever, your doing the same thing i just keep it surreal'.

And yep i moved outta south ak away from all the the G's when i was a teenager, and moved into the more grunged out neurotic grammar zone. Lets just say ideals of beauty were veeeerry different.