Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hommage to Betty Davis

Betty Davis has been written out of musical history, which is a shame. Her short marriage to Miles Davis utterly transformed his music and was part of the inspiration behind his turn towards the Bitches Brew era. She introduced Miles to Hendrix and a new way of thinking about music.

More so, her music was the best kind of sleazy easy funk. Her lyrics were openly sexual, revealing an active female desire which even today appears raw, radical and revolutionary. What a stark contrast to contemporary female hip-hop lyrics (from Lil' Kim to Missy Eliot) where female sexual desire is still oriented around and ordered by phallocentrism. Davis embodied the Eve-principle of women embracing and prioritising their own sexual pleasure and needs above pleasing whatever man was around. However progressive we become, the male-ordered societies we live in will forever find this troubling and disturbing. To echo Latour, perhaps we have never been modern.


Atutupoyoyo 11:46 am  

At first I thought you were referring to the beleagured actress Bette Davis.....

I am ashamed to say that I know very little of Betty Davis and her music. Bravo for the shout out

Anonymous,  11:40 pm  

what a brave album cover. Dont think anyone would make anthing this bold in this day! and if they did there'd be a black round sticky "parental advisory" strategically placed ahem, between her upper limb region.

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