The XX Factor

New Dad Jay-Z Decommissions the Word “Bitch” (Maybe)

Is Jay-Z changing his tune on the word “bitch”?

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jay-Z will purge the word “bitch” from his future lyrics, if a poem dedicated to his week-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter (and scooped by the British music site NME) is to be believed.

“Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich/I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch/I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it,the rapper allegedly wrote.


The verse continues, “I never realized while on the fast track that I’d give riddance to the word bitch/To leave her innocence intact/No man will degrade her, or call her name/Forever young you may pass/Blue Ivy Carter, my angel.”

That the rhymes first leaked from across the Atlantic got us wondering about their veracity—since when do the Brits have a direct pipeline to the Knowles-Carter household? Fans have cried forgery: They’re convinced their Jay would never drop “bitch” from his vocabulary, especially since the word practically vaulted him to fame (see “99 Problems,” “Bitches & Sisters”). Further raising eyebrows, there’s no trace of the poem on Jay-Z’s blog Life + Times or in press releases from the new parents. And a few Jay-Z connoisseurs at Double X think the clip doesn’t read like the rapper’s voice.  


So—if the skeptics are right and Hova does not actually intend to abandon the B-bomb—things are about to get a little awkward for the music star.

If they’re wrong, though, we may be witnessing a watershed moment. Will Jay-Z’s fellow rap laureates, especially protégé Kanye West, also banish the B-word? Will the notoriously misogynistic Eminem? (He’s made feints toward mending his angry ways after kicking a drug addiction.) Will Lil Wayne eschew the word “bootie” unless it refers to baby footwear?

If the poem is real, we want to commend Jay-Z on his newfound respect for women (although we wonder—along with NY Mag—why Beyoncé, his wife of three years, didn’t inspire the same gesture earlier). In that case, some final questions remain: Where is the new father, presumably swamped in night shifts and dirty diapers, finding time to pen all these songs and statements?

And while he’s at it, can he maybe do something about “ho”?