In Beyonce’s hit song, “Drunk in Love,” Hovah, aka Jay Z, refers to a scene of domestic abuse from the movie “What’s Love Got to Do with It” which is a film about Tina Turner and her tumultuous relationship with Ike Turner.
In the verse, Jay Z raps, “Now eat the cake, Anna Mae / I said eat the cake, Anna Mae.”
In this movie scene, Ike Turner forces Tina Turner to eat.
Well, Bang Radio wasn’t having it. They are cutting just that line of the verse.
“We believe in the unity of women and music and in no way condone violence, domestic or otherwise, especially not through the power of music…therefore, the decision has been made to wipe the stated lyrics from the song.
We believe that all people, regardless of age, gender, sexuality or race should have the right to an enjoyable listen to our station without the promotion of such morals,” Bang Media CEO Jennifer Ogole said in a released statement.
I admit, I am not offended by the lyrics and I do own Beyonce’s self-titled fifth album, but I do see harm in words.
Artists forget the incredible power they possess as gatekeepers of influence. And whether it is misuse or ignorance of that power, their wordplay has repercussions.
I want to make it clear that I am not singling out Beyonce, Jay Z or any artist for that matter, but as a whole, the music industry is doing a poor job of picking and choosing their words.
I don’t think Beyonce or other artists should censor themselves, but I do think that delivery is important.
In a Spanish literature class I took, my professor used to say it’s up to us to “question everything” and “never take anything for granted” or for face value.
My professor’s love of words and his echoing advice, remind me to keep my audience in mind.
And as a journalist, I doubly take on the responsibility to write with intention, clarity and conscientiousness. Basically, I watch what I say and how I say it.
In Beyonce’s case, perhaps it was her delivery that was at fault instead of her actual words.
After all, none of us really know what she means.
And one last thing Beysus, if you (and your husband) nickname yourselves after our Lord and Savior, maybe your lyrics should reflect His holiness.
Johnson is a junior majoring in journalism.