Watch: Ben Shapiro Performs Cardi B's WAP
Sometimes, the stars just align.
Look, I offer up a lot of criticism about those who sit on the right side of America’s political tennis court, most of it with good reason: We gave away the cultural narratives for 50 years because we’re reactionaries and we’re awful at getting them back. Seriously, there’s a reason MAD TV was funny.
That’s why this glorious video was a singular shining ray in an otherwise bleak, soon-to-be-college-fooball-less world.
Shapiro took some ribbing for this, and with good reason: It sounds preposterous coming from him. But that was sort of his point: Modern music is everything negative about a 100 percent laissez-faire attitude toward cultural norms and values. There’s nothing uplifting, inspiring, or even particularly valuable about songs featuring the W.A.P. I mean, if it’s 1am and you’re picking up sorority chicks over a cooler of jungle juice, it’s probably not the worst music to have on. But that wasn’t Shapiro’s point, and it’s not mine either.
You see, we’ve always had songs, and jokes, and skits that were meant to be seen after hours, behind closed doors, and not necessarily blared about in public.
In 1924, blues artist Ma Rainey released a song called “See See Rider,” a song which, when properly sung, makes a not-too-well-hidden pun about unfaithful lovers and a sexual position favored by really lazy dudes.
In 1931, Harry Roy was a little more on the nose when he released a song entitled “My Girl’s Pussy.”
Fats Waller’s “All that Meat and No Potatoes” (a song about a woman with an ample posterior but lacking in total breast surface area) became so widely covered that the Louis Armstrong version was featured as the closing song in “Office Space,” an excellent movie which features neither meat, nor potatoes.
I could trace this back pretty consistently past the Romans, but the point is this: This stuff has always been around, we just used to be more polite about it. I mean, that’s the whole point of someone like Shapiro doing this. It’s to highlight how absurd that sounds. If people were out talking like that in public, we’d be intervening. We’d be asking owners of establishments to go handle their unruly customers. We’d be reporting people for disorderly conduct. We’d be telling our kids to not talk like that. And yet there it is in our music. The thing is, I'm not sure this is Cardi B's fault. She's just doing anyone in her position would do, and thanks to mass media she's making millions at it.
And so Shapiro did this stunt. And it was glorious. And it was engaging. And he owned that it was silly. You have to, because your whole point is that it’s absurd to accept this kind of open vulgarity as part of the culture we celebrate, instead of tucking away in a side room where it probably should be.
And maybe Shapiro opened some minds to that today. Sometimes, the right’s nerdy stunts pay off.
But what other people on the right would be good spokespeople for this? And what songs would be pair them with? I humbly suggest the following: James Woods - “You Can Have Whatever You Like” (T.I.)
Comfortably Smug - “G Code” (Geto Boys)
Liz Wheeler - "Mother's Daughter" (Miley Cyrus)
I have no idea what Rush Limbaugh would rap. Probably something really cool like Cunninlynguists “Since When.”