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  • Writer's pictureCet

5 examples of consent in popular music

Rappers love talking about ass and titties. They also love talking about what the people attached to said ass and titties can do for them, sexually.

Often [rightly] maligned for misogyny, rap music’s taken more than its faie share of criticism for degrading lyrics about women.

What’s almost never talked about though, are the myriad ways blunt rappers encourage consent in their songs. While there’ll never be a shortage of people who’ll never give rap a fair shake, I personally think that these instances go unnoticed, because they don’t sound polite or stereotypically feminist AF — not because of ill will toward rap.

To do my part in reversing that, I’m going to keep a running list of rap examples in particular and pop music in general. I’ll generally stick to stuff from the 2000’s+, but I’ll throw in older examples if I find a particularly good one.

Petey Pablo // “Freak a Leak” Do you want it on the floor? Do you want it on the chair? Do you want it over here? Do you want it over there? Do you want it in ya pussy? Do you want it in ya ass? I could give you anything you can handle!

  1. This one’s not even debatable. Petey’s explicitly asking what not only where, but what. It doesn’t get more overtly consensual than this, folks.

Drake // “Truffle Butter” Look you’re gettin’ all your friends and you’re getting’ in the car And you’re comin’ to the house, are we clear right now, huh?

  1. Not that the pretty lady Drake’s rapping to couldn’t change her mind once she got to the house, but before they ever get there, he’s trying to make sure they’re on the same page.

Swiss Beatz // “Money in the Bank” It started out soft and warm Don’t get excited I’ been invited to a quiet storm

  1. It can be argued that this one is double entendre [on account of “Soft and Warm” being a song title] and that this was the second meaning, or that it’s an ode to Eric B. & Rakim, but that’s a thing in rap. I’m counting it. Here, Swizz is pointing out that sex was an invitations, not something he took or that his partner(s) passively did. Sounds like the basis of enthusiastic consent to me.

The Weekend // “Remember You” Girl take pride in what you wanna do Even if that means a new man every night inside of you

  1. While it may not be directly consensual in the form of being an ask, the encouragement of choice here is supportive. Society rarely encourages women to be sexual and never encourages them to be sexual for their own sake. That’s what happened in this song.

50 Cent // “Candy Shop” You can have it your way, how do you want it You gon’ back that thing up or should i push up on it

  1. Like Petey Pablo, Fif is asking exactly what she wants to do. There are no assumptions. It’s all explicit.

This list is only a sample of consent in mainstream music. While the list is small, it shows that consent does exist — and that it’s not always the cumbersome and awkward sign a contract thing it’s made out to be. If consent culture is gonna ever become normalized, noticing instances of consent, especially in unlikely places needs to be a regular thing. To that end, this will be a regular series here.

Sign up here for notifications of updates to the series and comment below with other instances of consent in pop music that come to mind for you.


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