Cardi B / Lauryn Hill Lyric Comparison Shows The Devolution Of Conscious Women’s Hip Hop

BLuke Miller Truth Theory

Cardi B has become the first female hip hop artist to reach the top of the charts since Lauryn Hill in 1998, but is this a good thing for hip hop, music or women?

Cardi B has topped the billboard charts with her new track “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” the track is the first by a female hip hop artist to do so since 1998 when Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop hit the top spot. However, there is a huge disparity between the empowering message of the past from Lauryn Hill, compared to that of Cardi B.   

Lauryn Hill has not been short of controversy in her career, as is the case with most people who are openly honest about the ups and downs of life. However, her music has always held an overriding message of self exploration, empowerment and positivity.

Lauryn Hill- Do Wop is a warning about men and women caught in the struggle of relationships promoting equality between both genders. Encouraging men to respect women and women to have self respect and not tolerate the misogynistic culture.

Cardi B Bodak Yellow (Money Moves) is about the artist being rich, superior to other people (women specifically) and ready to steal their men from them. The complete opposite of the message from Lauryn Hill.

Do Wop encouraging self respect and trying to uplift:

Showing off your ass cause you’re thinkin’ it’s a trend

Girlfriend, let me break it down for you again

You know I only say it cause I’m truly genuine

Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem

Baby girl, respect is just a minimum

And discouraging misogyny and domestic violence:

The second verse is dedicated to the men

More concerned with his rims and his Timbs than his women

Him and his men, come in the club like hooligans

Don’t care who they offend, poppin’ yang (Like you got yen!)

Let’s stop pretend, the ones that pack pistols by they waist men

Cristal by the case men, still in they mother’s basement

The pretty face men claiming that they be the big men

Need to take care of they three or four kids

And they face a court case when the child support late

Money taking and heart breaking, now you wonder why women hate men

The sleepy, silent men

The punk, domestic violence men

Quick to shoot the semen, stop acting like boys and be men

How you gonna win, when you ain’t right within?

How you gonna win, when you ain’t right within?

How you gonna win, when you ain’t right within?

Come again

In comparison to Bodak Yellow which starts with an all out assault on femininity, encourages consumerism and if you look between the lines bloody shoes could refer to the sweatshops and/or blood that often produces them:

Said little bitch, you can’t fuck with me

If you wanted to

These expensive, these is red bottoms

These is bloody shoes

Includes a chained up rare animal on the verge of extinction in the video:

And encourages sex for material goods:

I might just feel on your babe, my pussy feel like a lake

He wanna swim with his face, I’m like, “Okay” (okay)

I’ll let him get what he want, he buy me Yves Saint Laurent (yeah)

And the new whip, when I go fast as a horse, I got the trunk in the front (vroom)

This shows a decline in the message contained within industry music and this track has actually received strong support from within the industry:

Complex‘s writers called the song “a great, extraordinarily catchy record. The hook, the beat, her lyrics: it all works. Cardi sounds so sure of herself, it’s difficult not to believe and rap along with every word. Her shit feels like early Lil’ Kim, the way the fellas react to her bars. That beat drops and people go nuts.”

Tom Breihan of Stereogum wrote “On ‘Bodak Yellow,’ Cardi uses [her] voice to fill up the synthy, minimal beat, using all the track’s open space to project personality everywhere. It’s a big, loud, brash, noisy song, and it’s perfect.”

I believe the comparison of these tracks show that good music performs well when it is given the platform and that you can see a direct correlation between the consciousness of society as a whole and the music that they listen too. Consumption comes in many forms and every time we play a disempowering track we are giving it our vote.  

Lauryn Hills album “Unplugged” is one of the most relevant, underrated and potent albums. It has lines between lines and messages between messages that are more important than ever to be shared. You can listen to one of the tracks from it below:

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I am Luke Miller the author of this article, and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here

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