There is often a level of truth behind all satire and the truth took center stage on on Saturday Night Live as artists and actors took aim at rap’s long-standing issue of misogyny.
During Saturday’s show, SNL stars Chris Redd and Kenan Thompson played a rap duo called the “Booty Kings” in a comedy sketch. Sporting chains with oversized “Time’s Up” charms, the “kings of that booty music” dropped a track about getting consent from women in the club, turning the classic hip-hop trope on its head.
“I’m on a mission for that a–, but first I need permission,” the hook on the song goes. The sketch also features Pete Davidson making a guest appearance as “Uncle Butt,” but the bigger surprises were a cameo appearance by Lil Wayne and guest bars from Future.
“Lights, camera, action/Video vixen/Hendrix steal yo’ girl/ But only with her permission,” Future rhymed. Wayne, who was the show’s musical guest and is well known for his problematic rhymes, chimed in too.
“Lil Wayne, who’s been known for his lascivious lyrics over the years, attempts to clean up his act in the Booty Kings skit when he raps: “Respect is the game / And booty is the scrimmage / And I play good defense if that booty get offended,” Rodney Carmichael writes at NPR Music.
The spoof adds a rap twist to the #MeeToo movement that has yet to come through in any mainstream tracks.
Indeed, rap has a long history of misogyny. Starting in the 1980s with N.W.A. to the #MuteRKelly campaign to the late XXXTentacion, who faced felony domestic assault charges for beating his pregnant ex-girlfriend, hip-hop artists have been taken to task for disrespecting women, but change has been slow to appear.
Moving forward, it would be great to see artists tackle the problem in real life, not just in a comedy sketch.