Kat’s Music and Comics Corner Vol. 2 Issue #10
Usually I alternate from writing about comics and music each week, but there is this boyband that I have been listening to nonstop and I couldn’t wait for next week to write about them. So instead of writing about a comic this week, I’ll be writing about a rap collective based in California called Brockhampton. Originally formed in Texas, the thirteen members talked via Facebook and decided one day to move into a house together to form a boyband. Some of the members are artists and designers, some double as producers and rappers/singers. The vocalists of the band include Ameer Vann, Kevin Abstract, Dom McLennon, Merlyn Wood, Matt Champion, JOBA, and Bearface. Each vocalist brings something different to the table and they all come together each with an individual unique sound make such a fire sound. Bearface’s sweet sounding voice and Kevin’s sultry power vocals and Ameer’s smooth, deep voice and Merlyn’s in-your-face rapping and Dom McLennon’s strong lyrics. And then there’s Matt Champion’s rap verse in Brockhampton’s album Saturation II from the song “Junky”. It’s a very topical song that covers all kinds of serious issues like drug addiction and homophobia in the rap game, but Matt Champion’s verse about rape culture has a really strong message that I feel needs to be highlighted.
I watched this interview by MTV of Brockhampton and I found out that the rape culture verse was actual a personal subject for Matt Champion. You can tell from the lines in the verse that it’s something that Champion really cares about and feels strongly about He raps, “I hate these shady folk that want a ladylike/But don’t treat lady right, but they be sayin’ like just the tip”. He calls out the men out there who have forced women into having sex and doing things they don’t want to do. I feel like this topic is so important and relevant in today’s world. For those who keep up with the Twitterverse, #MeToo was circulating around and it was starting a lot of discussions and it did a great job of raising awareness toward something that often goes unvoiced or ignored. Champion continues by rapping, “And yeah, you mad ’cause she ain’t f*ck, mad ’cause she ain’t suck/Beat your a** before you got time to say “why not?” I used to have the erroneous idea that I had to please and listen to everything my partner wanted even if it made me uncomfortable or if I didn’t even want to do it, but as I’ve learned through discussion with other women I’ve come to the realization that it’s okay to say “No” and if a man doesn’t respect your wish then he’s doing something wrong, not you. Matt Champion’s anger toward men who feel like they’re entitled to a woman’s body feels like righteous fury that fuels the feminist in me. And he goes on to rap, “Where the respect? Is your a** human?” I share Champion’s frustration. I don’t think there’s any excuse for sexual harassment or rape. And I don’t like getting political, but some of the dumbest, most ignorant comments about rape have come from the mouths of politicians, men in power, men with influence, men. Champion ends the verse by expressing his frustrations with a death threat to any potential rapists and sexual harassers. My best advice to men like that is to heed Champion’s words:”Respect my mother, ‘spect my sister, ‘spect these women, boy.”
As a woman who has experienced some of the things that Matt Champion raps about, this song has a special meaning to me. A personal meaning. The line that I use in the subtitle of today’s blog is actually from Brockhampton’s song “Gold” from their album Saturation but I felt that it really applied to the subject at hand. I actually wrote a poem recently in dedication to all those who participated and also to those who were spiritually a part of the #MeToo. It’s entitled “A History of Touch” and I’ll be performing it at Obscura’s Open Mic Night next week Wednesday on November 29th. You should come through and see me and all the other amazing performers. Also, don’t forget to give Brockhampton’s “Junky” a listen and while you’re at it their whole discography (keep an eye out for Saturation III).
– Kathryn “Kat” Fornier