Sara Cox takes on rapper Pitbull: He ‘makes my soul weep with the way he sings about women’
DJ adds voice to growing concerns over sexism in pop
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Tuesday 27 May 2014
Sara Cox, the former BBC Radio 1 DJ, has criticised the station for playing music with sexist lyrics by rapper Pitbull.
The presenter, who now works on BBC Radio 2, said she felt upset by the station playing songs by the best-selling artist, whose lyrics have faced accusations of misogyny and objectifying women.
Cox told the Radio Times: “Someone like Pitbull on Radio 1 makes my soul weep with the way he sings about women. I just couldn’t bear playing that.”
She spoke of her love of the music on both Radio 1 and Radio 2 but added: “There will always be the odd song that isn’t for me.”
Pitbull, whose real name is Armando Perez, burst onto the music scene in 2009 with the hit song “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” from his fourth album Rebelution. He has sold well over five million albums, with number one hits in more than 15 countries.
For all his commercial success, the depiction of women in some of his songs, as well as the accompanying music videos, has prompted controversy.
One post on Pitbull’s own website by the mother of a 14-year-old listener claimed that his lyrics “harm girls”. The writer said that after being directed to the songs by her daughter, “I was shocked at how misogynistic they are… Some of the lyrics make women seem like nothing more than an object for the gratification of men.”
The anonymous writer, who wrote under the name “Nothappy”, said the lyrics were “profiting from putting women down”. She added: “My daughter has to live in a world where you are sending these powerful and hurtful messages about girls and women, so quit hypersexualizing them. Your music is a real disappointment.”
Pitbull’s song “Timber”, which reached number one last year, includes the lyrics: “I have ‘em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off/twerking in their bras and thongs… face down, booty up.” He also sings: “She say she won’t, but I bet she will.” Other songs include the lines “I like that when you fight back” and “Shake that shit bitch/And be off in the club with a hard-ass dick.”
His video for the song “I’m a Freak” with Enrique Iglesias has also been criticised for its objectification of women.
Sara Cox first appeared on Radio 1 in 1999 and presented the breakfast show the following year. She now presents a regular Saturday night show on Radio 2.
The BBC said in a statement: “Each track is considered for the playlist based on its musical merit and whether it is right for our young audience, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis.” A spokeswoman added that Pitbull was not currently on the Radio 1 Playlist.
The issue of misogyny in pop music became a hotly debated topic last year following the release of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, which was dubbed the most controversial song of the decade.
Anger among feminists centred on whether the lyrics could be interpreted as legitimising rape – while the video showed three fully clothed male singers surrounded by scantily clad female models.
Annie Lennox later last year attacked the sexual imagery of music videos saying many were “pornographic” and calling them “overtly sexualised”.
TV Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Black Mirror Christmas special: Jon Hamm episode will see people 'blocked' in real life, not just on Facebook
True Detective series 2: Rachel McAdams cast in female lead as 'no-nonsense' detective
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel set to become overnight bestseller
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services