I fear any criticism I might have of “WAP” (“Wet-Ass Pussy’’) in this day and age, will automatically be misconstrued as … “political”, (more specifically … “conservative”) unless I go into deep explanation as to why that really isn’t the case; and how it is possible to take issue with WAP; for reasons other than political ones.
There has inevitably been a backlash to WAP, (primarily from conservatives it seems) which I actually disagree with. I am in part, criticising the backlash itself; in hopes of making some kind of headway (how cute). I think any political backlash is a huge mistake and deflects the real issue. I believe having political issues with WAP, will only perpetuate many more WAPs to come.
My problem isn’t — “This is so demeaning to women”, “This is sexually offensive in content”, “This is ungodly”, “This is all about race and black power”, “This is so immoral” … etc.
None of that has anything to do with the problem that I have. My issue is purely based on what I believe to be a cultural decline in music. It can be said that though my problem isn’t “political” in nature, it is political by proxy — based on the cultural decline of music, with politics shaping and moulding mainstream culture … to the point that it affects music (and artists) everywhere else.
If one is coming from any political angle as to what their opinion is on WAP, I’m genuinely uninterested. Although unsurprisingly, it seems that politics are the driving force for its defense by the left. And just as I believe it is foolish for the right not to approve of WAP for their political reasons, I think it’s just as foolish for the left to therefore approve of WAP for their political reasons. This to me puts very clearly into perspective just how divided we are and how we’ve let politics poison the arts. And also, how we’ve lost perspective on what music (and the arts) should be.
If one is more liberal (or left leaning), they might tend to be more inclined to “like” WAP (by default) merely because their political affiliation (and perhaps ideology) will spite the opposition’s, rather than just liking or disliking WAP, for pure reasons. Reasons that represent one’s own identity and individuality.
If we are pure minded and honest with ourselves as to how we feel about WAP, we’d likely have the clarity of mind to base our feelings solely on its artistic merit — recognizing it as a piece of music first and foremost; before recognizing it as a statement that validates or invalidates one’s political affiliation.
Many who like WAP because it affirms their political “identity”, might realize, that void of that, there is really nothing left to like about it … because it’s simply highly unlikable beneath its flashy and politically veneer (and more on that soon.) Though of course that isn’t to say there won’t be a fringe group of people who will genuinely like WAP (after all, there are about 8 billion of us floating around).
I’d like to think my reasons are pure minded for how I feel about anything. I believe politics in music isn’t a problem, but there has to be artistic integrity. A song that is overtly political in nature, relies on its lyric and/or video to convey, display and portray such an identity. The “music” of a song should be the foundation in which it (the song) will be able to stand on, and say as much — if not more than its lyric.
When one aspect stands out and takes focus away from another, then it becomes inharmonious and creates an imbalance of effectiveness, which can manifest itself (as such) in “feeling” (or lack thereof), being taken, which the song could have effectively generated otherwise. It is not to say it isn’t art, but it is to say that it becomes watered down … and therefore, loses its artistic merit … and will lack integrity. The troubling part is when one can’t distinguish this and/or is apathetic or apologetic to such a vital, integral and critical distinction.
Politics can absolutely be in music, but when music is in politics, the music becomes infected. Either inherently or as a consequence.
WAP (and how I cringe out writing that as if it should be anything of great importance) has been criticized for reasons which I find very disconcerting. The video is controversial and perhaps intending to be that way so to exploit the political divide among us.
It seems when such a video is criticized, it is least criticized for its quality of the music (which it’s passing off as). Instead, it’s for political and ideological reasons (as mentioned). This is frustrating because its popularity reflects the culture we live in and what has become normalized to be viewed as “music” … regardless if it is liked or disliked.
Of course I think this video does have a right to exist, but I also think it would be better if it didn’t. I would never want to censor such a video. That would be an exercise in futility and pointless to the very issue I have. I want to know where we stand and acknowledge what is happening with the arts in pop culture so I can then criticize it accordingly and rightfully.
In the last several years, we have found more and more videos on youtube — to the likes of “WAP”. But this one really deserves special treatment. If it wasn’t clear enough already, this video made it hopelessly clear that there is a problem in mainstream culture. To me, this video blatantly represents and epitomizes the fall of music and how it clearly isn’t about the music anymore … and hasn’t been for about 20 years at this point in mainstream culture. And in the rising decline … WAP has finally (and inevitably) landed.
Sadly, I don’t feel this article will be outdated anytime soon; even when WAP inevitably (which will be soon) becomes yesterday’s news. This article is not so much about WAP, but rather using WAP as the example for the greater picture in which this article is really about.
There’s a distinguishable difference between artistic rebellion, pushing the envelope and just downright trash. This “not so fine line” has become grossly distorted more than ever in the last decade alone. It is depressing how videos so void of any substance can get out there in the world to be seen by such a huge population who will actually pay attention to it. So clearly there must be some appeal. But to who … and why? What’s going on?
What’s going on is that this is not actually about the music, (seemingly obvious) but rather, about big business using cheap entertainment that’s passed off as music … primarily catering to the youth (the target audience). But I feel that most of us (though not all) know this isn’t about the music, at least on a semi-conscious level.
It’s a blatant and unnecessary attitudinal defiance that has just gotten old already. So “it’s” continuing to look for new ways to push boundaries to get attention. It’s the thrill of the freak show, the amusement, the shock value, the same old same old. But behind all that which is full of such emptiness, is big business. It’s the sign that indicates … “we’ve all given up, and we all know that we all know that, fuck everyone … let’s just cash in”.
Enter the business of exploitation and manipulation. Exploiting and manipuating the youth … while using the political divide (over social media) to gain momentum to spread such videos like the virus it is.
A common talking point I always hear … “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it!”. Though how many who watch it … like it? But it’s still necessary to subject oneself to it; to understand what’s going on as it would be irresponsible not to. Besides, it’s everywhere. It’s hard to escape, it’s all around us and increasingly difficult to avoid.
I don’t listen to (or watch) music videos that I don’t like, but generally, no one does something they don’t like. That still doesn’t mean there isn’t a real issue that one shouldn’t therefore take issue with.
Is one supposed to take no issue and just be okay with this kind of ongoing nonsense and absurdity? Should one just suppress their feelings? Is it not expected that many will take issue with the “WAPs” of the world? Or is that allowed so long as those who do take issue, stay silent.
To not take issue with a video like WAP, would indicate this blatant submission to a social and cultural manipulation … which is where the “art” truly … lies. But submission will simply not come naturally to human beings, which is a good thing.
Should the response to WAP, only be … “Oh I like it!”, “That’s hot!”, “Yeah I sure can see the appeal”, “Oh I sure do relate!”.
I, upon many, can’t find any reason to feel any of that. Perhaps I would convince myself to — if I were the type who tries to keep in good with the youth. But I prefer to keep in good with who I am, and be honest with myself. After all, we all preach to each-other that that’s the way to be! To be true to oneself.
So what is it that’s so appealing about WAP, and why should one be okay with it? Let’s examine the video aspect of “WAP” closer. What’s the appeal? The sexuality? Certainly it goes without saying that the driving force for this video is primarily (if not only) really its “sex appeal” of two women flashing their tits and ass (which can get even the most devout music fan — who knows all too well this is garbage, to embrace it … *even if the women aren’t terribly attractive*). For all intents and purposes, WAP is sexually enticing for men and empowering for women. I suppose the “high quality” aspect of WAP is just well covered up by that driving force that it’s as good as nonexistent.
That to me is the ingeniousness of its distraction and the excuse for it … to be. But this is such a deviation as to what music should be about. Of course who’s to say what music should be about? Though I’d suggest not thinking too hard about something that really should be so simple in nature. Such thinking might inhibit creative thought that could have otherwise led to, I don’t know, something soulful and inspiring. (That said, if you’re trying to write the next WAP, don’t listen to me!)
For now, let’s forget the “music” aspect of WAP and focus on the video. The contents in this video (which basically gives it its identity) are made up of images accompanied by a lyric. The images (the visuals) in a video; should work with the song — literally, metaphorically and/or abstractly … so long as it simply … works.
Since the dawn of youtube, the identity of the “song” in many music videos (now more than ever before) are primarily based on its images. After all, that’s what youtube is primarily about. And with a generation raised online, their eyes will be the judge of what they hear.
If what a song is about, is based on the video first and foremost, (as is the case with WAP), then right away, there is no musical integrity … which is an obvious under statement. No exceptions. What WAP is all about … is its video.
However people interpret it, there is no “musical” interpretation to be found. It is not musical. That is not to say, it can’t be defined as “music”. But much like junk food … “food” lacking nutrition, so is it “music” … lacking musicality, and thus … substance. Much the same, for WAP to be considered a “song”, it is disconcerting. What, in that case, can’t be considered … a song? Most importantly, with songwriting, why is the craft or skill even necessary?
If a song isn’t written primarily with musical inspiration in mind, but rather, for it to be a video … then its musical integrity has automatically been compromised and corrupted. If its identity relies on being held up by its visual … then it isn’t about the music first and foremost, if at all. That is problematic. The “audio” contents “backing it”, become but the excuse for it to be referred to as a “song” … as the term “song” by definition is a composed musical piece. But it makes no difference really. Let WAP be a song. What it still is, first and foremost, is “WAP”.
When you have a production predominantly created by the use of programming generic repeating beats, in lieu of proper instrumental composition with a musical flow … void of melody, lacking any substance, with no emotion to inspire and no feeling to make the connection … then it was never a “musical” piece, and thus one can argue … “music” … to begin with (at least in the spiritual sense in which musicians and music fans generally refer to). Simply placing a rhythmic vocal on top, makes it no more music than would its click track.
Sure, you can call it a “lyric” if you’re so touched by …
“Yeah, you fuckin’ with some wet-ass pussy. Bring a bucket and a mop for this wet-ass pussy. Give me everything you got for this wet-ass pussy”.
Sounds more like a threat. (Or the likes of that which you’d hear at any given point during the Jerry Springer show.) How moving.
Now, putting such fine literature aside … How about the song itself?
Do you even think of WAP as a song? Or a video? Perhaps both? What best represents the identity of WAP?
If one likes the video, does that therefore mean one also likes its … “song” by default? What would you think of the “song” without the video? Would you even give it the time of day? Would you care? Why would anyone?
What do we regard WAP as? A song or a video? I’d bet everything on … video. The idea of WAP being a song is but the illusion and excuse for the video to exist (as its true representation of the identity that is … WAP). WAP’s “song” is kind of like a reality show finding the next “best” singer, dancer, etc. It’s really not what the show is about, though merely the excuse for the show “to be”. A show that entertains.
It is especially because there is nothing musical about this masterpiece, that the viewer’s eyes are what will determine its “worth”. (Note: The “quotes” are unavoidable.)
It’s the “video” that determines the perceived “quality” (of the idea) of it being a “song” … with a dumbed down culture of “listeners” who only know how to “listen” with their eyes and not their ears since that’s how they’ve been “shaped and moulded” to interpret “music”. Because really, what’s there to hear anyway?
If one is to find WAP’s “beat” or “hook” appealing … that would imply such a person has most likely been born into this kind of … entertainment, and has little to no reference point for the power of music and what it is capable of. And this is a gross manipulation as to how the youth in the last two decades, have increasingly become more and more duped.
To the listener who is aware of the power of music; they would acknowledge right off … just what and how much is left to be desired. They would instantly acknowledge its monotony. They’d be filled with such a void equally reflective to that of the void which is WAP itself. They’d feel a whole lot of nothing as there would be nothing challenging or inspiring to feel or to make them feel. They would immediately recognize who they are as a listener and identify the disconnect to their own unique identity and individuality.
But, their only takeaway would be that of a very unpleasant … yet familiar one, when they realize just how they have (yet again) been aurally assaulted with the likes of such modern entertainment, and how it’s new dropping (WAP) … is just another formulaic result of something that sounds like everything else of its kind, though with the only twist being its visuals and “shock value” making it … “stand out” (like two elbows in the air once two fingers enter the ears).
In a nutshell, they would acknowledge how unappealing, bland and lacking of any substance it is. If all they need to validate WAP’s worth … is a good beat or hook, then that would indicate as clear as day, that the bar has significantly lowered along with any standards a music listener should always have. As a result, this would put emphasis on how we’ve lost perspective and just settled into accepting such a listening experience as “normal”.
Unless … to the WAP listener, it isn’t about the music for them, but rather the political “message” in which they approve of (coupled with a sense of satisfaction at the opposition’s disapproval). These aren’t pure reasons to like/dislike any form of art, but would reflect the disconnect very acutely.
If your political ideology (or moral framework) is the basis in which you use to determine if you like/dislike a song, movie, book, performance, etc, then right off, that indicates you are not about the music or the arts … but rather entirely disconnected from it. You are about an agenda.
Your politics have taken you over. They have essentially gotten in the way and have blinded you to anything truly enriching. They have corrupted your very soul and polluted your spirit. You’re now a toxic soul who is unable to enrich your spirit with what should fundamentally represent who you are, but which has instead been buried deep down in the abyss of nothingness. You then lose yourself and become … lost.
But I digress.
In terms of content, I have no problem with what a song might be about, if anything at all. It can be about sex, violence, devil worship, sin, etc. It doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter. Anything goes. Controversial or taboo. What matters is how it is effectively executed. If there is no passion, emotion, substance, depth, musical integrity that holds it up, then it is nothing more than a commercial. Which is exactly what WAP is … a commercial. Advertising exactly what mainstream culture has been well trained to buy.
It always seems to amaze me, and never slips under my radar, that when a song has even a smidgen of musicality (or musical integrity), it’s more likely to be criticized with less controversy attached. This is because we’re listening to music, and therefore want to hear … music. Regardless of the style. But when a song is really just a video, with no musical integrity whatsoever to carry it, then its criticisms are often controversial.
You get people explaining why “that’s okay” and “what makes it good instead”. And usually these justifications are to acknowledge its clever business acumen … because when there’s no art to speak of in the face of art, there’s only business (unless of course, we’re talking about the “art of business”).
When there is nothing musical to attack, then “music” is not what the listener (or in this case … “viewer”) is even looking for in the first place. How brilliant is that. And not a “brilliant song”, but a brilliant commercial.
Naturally, one can like this video … or even love it, as they please. And there will be many who do. But that’s not the point of this article. Anyone can like junk of any kind … but it’s still junk.
The issue is when junk passes off as art, and when people view it that way to the point that they’ll defend it as such … this becomes brainwashing. And this is reflective of a culture which perpetuates lost souls to the point that their defense for this absurdity, in reality, is really just them unknowingly defending themselves for falling victim to such cultural manipulations.
We can interpret anything that we deem as “art” … to be art. And this is the apology that can and will always be used to justify and defend anything like WAP.
So long as we’re being subjected to garbage in the midst of this seemingly endless cultural catastrophe, there will always be an audience of lost souls, who will naturally defend what they were basically born into. I know I would if I were them; as it reflects a major part of who they are; which is being constantly called out and insulted … as the only natural response. You’d think one might step back and get a clue.
It’s very telling that we’re truly in a cultural decline when it becomes so clear to anyone with a reference point as to what artistic merit is, that we’re in the midst of an exponentially growing “dumbed down” culture, whose standards for quality have been grossly compromised … likely without their awareness. The … “If it’s in, I’m in!” mentality … takes over the identity of the individual, and should always be criticized.
Among the many who have been brainwashed into perceiving trash entertainment as “music”, will defend this kind of blatant absurdity, while artists who truly have something to say and something to offer, will continue to struggle and be left behind. As a result, everyone ultimately gets duped.