Who Won? Certainly Not Kim or Ciara

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by Ashleigh Atwell

Last week, I reluctantly exposed myself to I Won, a new track by rappers Future and Kanye West. The premise of the track is the duo bragging about their famous significant others, Ciara and Kim Kardashian. It seems like a sweet gesture until you actually pay attention to the lyrics. The song starts out with Future warbling the hook:

I just want to take you and show you off

You already know that you the perfect one

Girl when I’m with you, I feel like a champion

Ever since I got with you, I feel like I done won me a trophy

A trophy, I won me a trophy

A trophy. An object. That’s what Future seems to think of his soon-to-be wife and mother of his child. A status symbol that he wants to show off to anyone that will look. That’s just the hook. The actual verse isn’t much better since all he brags about is their sex life.

Get to fuckin’ on the dresser just to make the pussy wetter

Gotta put you in that vintage then you rockin’ Perry Ellis

Then I leave with you, only cause I believe in you

We get to bangin’ on them walls to piss the neighbors off

Judging from the lyrics, it sounds like he’s talking about some random groupie rather than the accomplished Ciara. Neither deserves disrespect but you would think he’d give the latter a bit more consideration. Kim doesn’t fare much better in Kanye’s lyrics. As a matter of fact, he decided to make it a family affair.

My trophy on that Bound bike, I gave you only pipe

If people don’t hate then it won’t be right

You could look at Kylie, Kendall, Kourtney and Khloe

All your mama ever made was trophies, right

Yeezy didn’t think objectifying Kim was enough so he decided to include her sisters, including the under-aged Kylie. Discussions about sexism and misogyny in hip-hop usually center on the treatment of the women with which rappers have casual encounters. Supposed hip-hop love songs are rarely scrutinized because people give them a cookie for not saying they hate the woman that inspires the bars their spitting. Their songs reflect how pervasive negative views of women are in hip-hop and arguably the black community at large. It’s bad enough that they insult and abuse the groupies and video models but the women that supposedly hold them down are reduced to commodities and arm candy. The only difference appears to be one has a ring and the others don’t. I Won is the first time rappers have insulted their girlfriends, fiancées and wives in lyrics. Kanye is a repeat offender that has referred to Kim K as a bitch in popular songs like Mercy. His close friend Jay-Z has been guilty of doing the same to Beyoncé.

Rappers’ significant others are also exploited when their men have beefed with other famous men. When two rappers butt heads, the women become lyrical ammunition. Tupac famously insulted Faith Evans as a shot at Biggie at the height of their feud. When Jay-Z was pissed at Nas, he implied that he screwed his baby mama in a diss track. Unfortunately, these women typically remain silent when they are exploited in this manner. They brush off questions about the lyrics and these men go another day without being held responsible for their shenanigans. That’s another instance of misogyny being unchecked and branded as acceptable by other brothers, sons and fathers. If these famous and accomplished women are not safe in their confines of their relationships, what does that say about the rest of us? Who will protect any of us? In order for someone to win, someone has to lose.

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