Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!: Let’s Take 2Chainz to School (Participation)

Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!: Let’s Take 2Chainz to School

13 Sep

At the Crunk Feminist Collective, there are educators among us who teach in unsafe classrooms, around uncomfortable kitchen tables, in crumbling youth centers, and between warring crowds on police-barricaded streets. We teach because we believe that offering a lens and the language to critically engage the world are fundamental to changing the world.  It seems to be a lofty charge, but we are anchored by it especially when we spend thankless, countless hours preparing the “perfect” lesson plan and notes to incite and inspire young folks.

Today, I am bringing the classroom to the blog. From a horsefly’s golden bum named Beyoncé to poisonous Tupperware-like butt pumping parties, the CFC has covered how the booty continues to frame desirability and identity. We have described how the commodified, sexual display of Black buttocks dates back to the iconic backside of South African Sarah Baartman, dubiously dubbed the Hottentot Venus.

Let’s talk about eating the Other as theorized by bell hooks. Here are two recent objects/images of dismembered Black female bodies molded as cakes and offered up for public consumption.

The first object/image circulated this Spring when the Swedish Minister of Culture kicked off World Art Day with a ceremonial cut to the genitals of the black-coated, blood-colored cake. The blackface performance artist screamed amid gawking onlookers who laughed, snapped photos, and later gobbled the cake, bottom upward. The viral video sparked outrage across the globe.  In a refined statement the Black male artist, Makode Linde, said his intention was to make viewers uncomfortable and to call attention to “genital mutilation” or more specifically clitoridectomy (i.e., the removal of the clitoris).  The second object/image is also of a cake—a cake in the shape of a thong-wearing booty that is presented to the Black male artist 2Chainz in a music video. In the chart topping record, “Birthday Song,” the rapper repeats: “All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.”Cake from "Birthday Song" by 2Chainz

If you can stomach watching both of the videos, tell us:  Is there any difference between the two cakes?

(Warning: Videos links contain explicit material.)

Swedish cake art termed racist Cake art stirs heated debate over racism in Sweden. CNN’s Nima Elbagir reports

Birthday Song by 2Chainz featuring Kanye West

Further Reading:  Willis, D. (2010). Black Venus, 2010: They called her “Hottentot”. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Press.

via Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!: Let’s Take 2Chainz to School « The Crunk Feminist Collective.

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2 thoughts on “Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!: Let’s Take 2Chainz to School (Participation)

  1. This article brings up an interesting, clashing point. Many people admire what the hip hop culture has done for women; over the past decade or two the image of a desirable female has changed from skin and bones thin to voluptuous curves. Rappers are always “admiring” these “assets” (no pun intended), but if you examine this closer, it seems the newly popularized attention on curves and the booty has just created another mold for women to fit. It is great that we have become more accepting of full figured females, but hip hop is not promoting or empowering women through the images these rappers create. Rather, hip hop is deducing women down to one body part and only focusing on that. This infatuation with the biggest ass possible is just as bad as our previous obsession with the heroine-chic stick figure look. The fact that women are injecting themselves with lethal substances in hopes it will make their butt bigger is appalling. Perhaps these women need some education, but overall it is the image that we have to blame. Just as little girls who watched runway models when they were young and developed eating disorders, this objectification of women will cause girls to desire something they are not naturally born with, and it will ultimately drive them to make poor decisions for themselves. Additionally, the image of a girl with a butt is always portrayed very sexually–this may be more dangerous to growing girls adn their self-image than our society’s previous obsession with thinness, because girls will be more likely to partake in sexual acts at younger ages. All of this is due to the image we send these girls and how we view women as objects rather than human beings.

  2. As I watched and examined the first video about the artist and his controversial cake i was definitely disturbed. This was indeed the purpose of this cake, at first one might think that are better ways to bring awareness to issues that worry us, but at the end his goal was met and he brought a lot of attention to it. His goal was to make people uncomfortable with it and he definitely got that reaction. The artist’s intentions were clear and although I do would have never even gotten close to that cake, the message got through me and I give him props for that. On the other side, with the 2 Chains video, I could not even finish watching the video of how disgusted and embarrassed I was while watching this. Just by listening to the lyrics I could already tell how degrading this video was going to be. The cake part was the least offensive issue in this motion picture. All the women covered in cake and bouncing on men was the most upsetting thing ever. The amount of times where women were being objectified here were countless, and it makes me not have hope for future rappers and our efforts of trying to not treat women as props in songs. This is definitely a video that sends all the negative messages we are trying to get rid of . The cake here wasn’t the main issue, I have seen cakes in shapes of penises, vaginas, and others, but it all depends how you are using these and what message do you want to send to others.

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