“Why the Fuck It Gotta Be Lowkey?” Bhad Bhabie Wants You to Stop Undercutting Women

"It’s like how people be like, ‘Oh, that's lowkey fire.’ If it’s fire, it’s fire. Just say it."
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Bhad Bhabie may be young, but she is savvy enough to pick up on the ways the music industry and society at large hedges the accomplishments of women. 

In a new interview with Montreality, Bhabie breaks down the ways people very commonly undercut the accomplishments of women by adding qualifiers. 

“When girls do things, it’s like: ‘Damn, I didn’t know she could do that,” she said. "It’s like how people be like, ‘Oh, that's lowkey fire.’ If it’s fire, it’s fire. Just say it. Why the fuck it gotta be lowkey for?

"Or when people say, ‘For a girl, that’s crazy.’ What do you mean 'for a girl'? You should say, ‘For a person that’s crazy,’ ‘cause I know your ass wouldn’t do it.”

Love her or hate her, what Bhab Bhabie is picking up on is the insidious way we use language to quietly assign a value to people. She’s absolutely right: why does a woman have to be “lowkey fire"? That denial of skill says more about the speaker than it does the actual quality of the artist in question.

Of course, Bhab Bhabie isn’t the only woman taking note of these veiled inequalities. In late 2017, Rapsody went on the record to say women cannot be boxed in, that they can “rap with the best of the best.” In her case, the idea of “lowkey fire” manifested when a score of people attempted to wrongly label Rapsody the “female Kendrick Lamar.” Using this language and mustering up these labels just proves an inability for the industry to see women as fully fleshed-out people, who can be successful in their own light and without the lens of masculinity.

Luckily, the more artists speak up on these discrepancies, the faster we can correct them and move on as a more equitable culture.