Girls Still Have 99 Problems

By: Nikki W.

Earlier this month, Beyonce had a baby. Her husband, Jay-Z, put out a song featuring the baby’s first cries in record time, overcome with first-time-father feelings and probably not at all using the built-in publicity to advance his music career. They named the little girl Blue Ivy, which we will discuss some other time.

Soon after the birth, a rumor surfaced that Jay-Z had vowed to stop using “the B word” now that he has a daughter. Those rumors included this poem:

Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich

I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch

I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it

Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it

I don’t know what’s more frustrating, that this rumor caught so much steam because it seemed revolutionary for a hip hop mega mogul to remove that word from his vocabulary, or the idea that he’d only do so now that he has helped create a woman. As though being born to a woman and marrying a woman didn’t create a strong enough emotional attachment with either woman to forego the word, and only now that there’s a woman with his DNA is there sufficient reason to give it up.

No matter, because he never said it. Not his fault, these kinds of rumors swirl around all celebrities. Besides, how *could* he refrain from using the word? Reporters at TIME combed through lyrics to Jay-Z’s 15 studio albums (both solo and collaborative) and found that 109 out of 217 songs contain the word “Bitch.” That’s 50.2% of Jay-Z’s entire lyrical output. How could a man do a greatest hits record without his greatest hit word?


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