Music by VICE

A Year of Lil Wayne: Some More Words on Cunnilingus

Lil Wayne is an unlikely hero of sexual politics.

by Kyle Kramer
Dec 22 2016, 10:23pm

Day 94: "Pussy Monster" –  Tha Carter III , 2008

There can be no doubt, particularly given his music in recent years, that Lil Wayne is the poet laureate of eating pussy. Fans and critics have been documenting his lyrical fascination—nay, obsession—with the art of cunnilingus for years. And today, courtesy of one of our contributors, Noisey published a breakdown of all the instances in which Wayne has mentioned the topic on his studio albums, which surely only represents a fraction of the times he has done so overall.

If the data doesn't tell the story clearly enough, let me say this: I've always felt that Wayne deserved credit, among his many other innovations, for making his love of practicing oral sex a mainstream lyrical fixation in rap and arguably culture at large. These days, everyone talks about it—from Young Thug boasting that he'll "pull up, eat on that pussy, and dip" to Drake making bad math jokes about 69 to, of course, Danny Brown's ode to the act in "I Will." Big Sean even brought it up on a Justin Bieber song! Turn on the radio, and you will probably hear a rapper talking about eating pussy. Focusing on female sexual pleasure has become a major musical theme, which might not be the most meaningful feminist victory ever recorded but certainly is, overall, a positive thing. But it wasn't always that way. In rap's hypermasculine early days, in keeping with popular culture's view of masculinity as a whole, performing oral sex was considered a gross and demeaning act. DJ Quik literally made an entire song on the topic, the hook of which goes "don't eat the coochie."

Since I'm not the first person to point any of this out, I'll refer to the examples and words of a smarter person than I, Heidi Lewis, an associate professor at Colorado College, writing in 2012 for Mark Anthony Neal's blog NewBlackMan:

To be clear, DJ Quik is far from being the only rapper to declare a disdain for eating pussy. On "I Need to Be" (1997), Mase raps, "And I never eat pussy, 'cause I'm too stubborn in my ways." On "Freek-A-Leek" (2004), Petey Pablo raps, "And [she] love to get her pussy licked...by another bitch, 'cause I ain't drunk enough to that." More recently, on "Royal Flush" (2009) J. Cole raps, "So that must mean you want a nigga to eat that seafood. Baby, don't be foolish, but call her. I'll watch her do it." …

The anti-cunnilingus stance in hip hop can most definitely be attributed to heterosexual black male politics. In short, black men who claim they don't eat pussy do so because it's not "manly" to do anything sexual that is not pleasurable for the man, even though you know that's not true if you're a grown up. This is why a lot of mainstream male rappers are lyrically all about getting their dick sucked, running trains, participating in threesomes or various other kinds of sexual orgies, and so on. For those guys, it's all about busting a nut, not making sure the woman they're fucking gets hers. You might be tempted to counter that these politics are not exclusive to black communities or even hip hop. Well, you'd be right, but these issues do manifest themselves uniquely in black communities for several reasons. For brevity's sake, I'll just suggest that you read up on the Buck and Jezebel stereotypes for more context.

Lewis goes on to make the point, which I agree with, that Wayne has "begun to redefine hip hop masculinity by taking a stance that is extremely pro-cunnilingus." She's not the only person to have taken note of this. Critic Madeleine Holden points out, in a 2013 post on the website The Pantograph Punch, that Wayne stands out among his fellow rappers, even those who also rap about eating pussy, for his passion and equanimity. As she writes, he "raps about it enthusiastically, generously and without caveats," and he "skips the hygiene policing and generally steers clear of fish jokes—clearly spending more time around real female genitalia than male locker rooms and sounding all the better for it."

Holden concludes that "his level-headed, fair's-fair approach to reciprocity" leads her to realized that "Weezy was way more feminist than I thought." Lewis, meanwhile, concludes, "Lil Wayne is openly calling out his hip hop brothers out on their sexual immaturity.  Eating pussy may not be for every brother, but if that's the case only because you think it makes you less of man, you need to grow up and take a cue from the President of YMCMB."

I don't think Wayne's influence here can be overstated, so I agree with both of those assessments (I should add that both justifiably take Wayne's lyrics with a grain of salt, given the widespread lack of respect for women elsewhere in his lyrics, but that is beyond the scope of today's post). Yet, additionally, I think that part of the effect Wayne has had on the culture at large can probably be traced not just to his frequent invocation of the topic but his absolute glee and running success in addressing it. His biggest-ever hit is about "giving, getting head," and he's had a couple hits since that have focused mostly on that fixation, such as "No Worries." Most notable of these for its explicitness is a song called "Pussy Monster."

For a long time, I never knew about "Pussy Monster" because the copy of Tha Carter III that I, um, acquired on its release had a song called "Playing With Fire" instead. That song was removed over a sample clearance lawsuit from the Rolling Stones, and it was replaced, unbeknownst to me until years later, by "Pussy Monster." One imagines that Wayne had a real affinity for this song if he made the point of insisting that it, of all songs, be the replacement on the album. Plus, I found this great description in the Village Voice of his set from the 2008 Hot 97 Summer Jam, in which there was a "whole lot of time devoted to 'Pussy Monster,' an endless, über-graphic ode to cunnilingus, which Wayne delivered while humping the stage and shoving his hand down his pants, daring the crowd to turn on him. Girls squealed; dudes stared ashen-faced." If nothing else, the fact that Wayne took this song as a thematic cue for loads of music going forward is proof enough of his conviction. As he raps, "I hope she make me eat my words / 'cause my words is pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy." Wayne's words were loaded with pussy in the years to come, and, as it turns out, he had the voice of a prophet.

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