Cheeky UK artist Lily Allen’s newest single Hard Out Here sarcastically pokes fun at the vapidness and sexism of the music industry. But is it also racist?
Hard Out Here delineates the longtime issue of women being overly sexualized by and for the music industry. From the start, Allen points out the double standards where women are unrealistically expected to uphold certain gener roles in entertainment to keep them attractive to the audience as opposed to men. However, parts of the song hint at the hip-hop culture, to which some viewers have responded with complaints of racism.
On the other hand, the hip-hop culture IS a strong proponent of machismo and sexism, as illustrated in the lyrics:
I won’t be bragging ’bout my cars or talking ’bout my chains
Don’t need to shake my ass for you ’cause I’ve got a brain
If I told you ’bout my sex life, you’d call me a slut
When boys be talking about their bitches, no one’s making a fuss.
Image source: Dailymail.Co.Uk
As for the video, while I found it comical that the old music exec was also involved in the salacious dance routine, perhaps Allen would have made a stronger point if she featured male back-up dancers of various races in female clothing. Otherwise, the autotuning, heavy styling, and overtly sexual dance moves make Hard Out Here a creatively satirical, and at some points, self-deprecating, music video.
Check out the official video below and tell us what you think.