You gotta let him know, you ain’t a bitch or ho

In light of Kelis and Nas’ divorce, I am reminded how much Kelis warms my heart when dating has me down in the dumps.

See her awesome screaming freak-out in “Caught Out There.”

Not to suggest I endorse domestic violence, but it is refreshing to see a woman react to a breakup and a man’s deception — not by crying, not by begging him to come back, not by singing the blues — but by screaming and tearing things up. With her wild rainbow-streaked hair, she is a force of nature.

Sure, everyone got fed up with that silly “Milkshake” song, but for this “Young Fresh N’ New” video, I will always love her. She mounts a big monster truck, rolls over some cars, loads up some runaway kids to hit the road with her.

Speaking of feminist hip-hop pioneers, let’s talk Salt-n-Pepa. I danced to their killer beats for 20 years before I stopped to think about how ground-breaking they were. When “Push It” became Top 40 sensation, I was too young to understand the significance of women aggressively asserting their sexual desire. Yet Salt-n-Pepa were creating a hip-hop revolution with just with one simple stanza:

“Yo, baby pop, yo you, c’mere, give me a kiss.
You better make it fast or else I’m gonna get pissed.
Can’t you hear the music pumping hard like I wish you would?
Now push it. Push it good. Push it real good”

Look at those outfits – aren’t they badass?

What’s interesting to me is that today, 22 years later, there’s still a backlash. Continue reading