Allan Bloom’s 1987 meditation, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students, was a run-away bestseller. Bloom made this observation of popular music:
“Nothing is more singular about this generation than its addiction to music…Today, a very large proportion of young people between the ages of ten and twenty live for music. It is their passion; nothing else excites them as it does; they cannot take seriously anything alien to music.”
Cardi B’s “WAP” has proved that Bloom’s statement still holds true to this very day. Maija Kappler of the Huffington Post got it right when it stated that “Unless you’re living under a rock that can’t connect to Spotify, you’ve likely heard the Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion song ‘WAP,’ or at least the discussion around it.”
Kappler moved on to say that the song was criticized by “fearful men of all political inclinations” largely because it is “candid and explicit…about female desire.” Yet in the same breath, Kappler risibly declared:
“The first time I heard ‘WAP,’ there were lines that made me gasp. On first listen you’re likely to raise your eyebrows, or even blush a little. It’s a song that Goes There. Even its name, taken from a line that’s repeated over and over, has to be shortened to an acronym in polite conversation.”
Kappler couldn’t realize that her statement here is a criticism in and of itself. She gasped when she first heard the song, but she couldn’t understand why the same song could also make men gasp!
Kappler’s double talk is bad enough, but listen to Brianna Holt, a representative of the feminist ideology: “Critiquing ‘WAP’ as degrading, dehumanizing art is a camouflage for critiquing Black womanhood as a problematic expression.”
How does that equation work? Criticizing a song that is sexualizing an entire culture, particularly young and naïve people, is tantamount to criticizing black women expressing their art? Would Holt be willing to say that criticizing the music of people like Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga is like excoriating “white” women expressing their art? How stupid can it get?
You see, Holt cannot hold two coherent thoughts together because she has been living under the steady diet of feminism, an ideology which is not based on practical reason but on releasing your appetite and sexual desires. That’s one reason why Holt can say things like “Both Cardi and Megan are powerhouses of female sexuality, independence, and dominance.” Holt says of critiques who denounced WAP as perversion or subversion:
“These ludicrous critiques show, once again, that sex is only a taboo expression in music when women—specifically women of color—explore it. Love-making, sex, fucking, or whatever you might call it, isn’t a new theme in music. In fact, many of America’s “greatest hits” were tracks from Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Michael, Pearl Jam, and other male artists who explored sex and drugs in their lyrics.”
Were these people without their critics? Or could it be that Holt is so blind as not to see the obvious? From Plato and all the way to our modern time, popular music has never been without its critics. In fact, Vladimir Lenin once declared: “One quick way to destroy a society is through its music.” We would certainly encourage Holt and others like her to pick up a copy of musicologist David Tame’s The Secret Power of Music: The Transformation of Self and Society through Musical Energy in order to see how music has been viewed over the millennia.
Moreover, parents themselves have been warning people over the past decades about how some music ought to be banned. Take it from the New York Times itself: “Self-censorship was present at the beginning of rock ’n’ roll…. Record companies soon agreed to affix a ‘parental advisory’ sticker on albums that they — not an outside regulator — deemed to include ‘strong language or depictions of violence, sex or substance abuse.’” It went on to say:
“A top radio programmer for decades, [Doc] Wynter the head of hip-hop and R&B programming for the broadcasting giant iHeartMedia, was taken aback by ‘WAP,’ Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s brazenly graphic anthem of lubrication, when he was given a preview before the song’s release in August.”
Wynter, who is black, said: “It hits you at the very beginning — like, whoa! — and then it just keeps on going and going and going. Thank God we have systems in place, that prevented that record from hitting the airwaves.” To Wynter’s chagrin, WAP did the airwaves. So, does Holt mean to tell us that Wynter was essentially stopping black women like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion from expressing themselves? Or could it be that Wynter’s moral reasoning was saying that something is wrong with WAP?
In any event, Holt’s argument certainly doesn’t follow. But it gets worse. One Ph.D. student declared that “when Megan Thee Stallion proclaims ‘when I ride the dick, Imma spell my name,’ she is advocating for community-based literacy programs, focusing on 1:1 & small group learning opportunities.”
One needn’t be a musicologist or sociologist to realize that that statement is ridiculous. It can easily be shown that songs like “WAP” have always been about rebellion and breaking any moral taboos—wherever taboos are found. Crowleyites and Nietzscheans like David Bowie saw the same thing. In fact, Bowie declared way back in 1976:
“I believe that rock & roll is dangerous. It could well bring about a very evil feeling in the West… And that’s where I see it heading, bringing about the dark era.”
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche envisioned this “dark era.” That was one reason why he fully embraced the music of Richard Wagner, particularly Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde. Nietzsche thought that he could form a coalition with the composer to bring forth the Superman who would eventually crush the moral ideals which were essential in Europe at the time.
Nietzsche wrote: “I name Wagner as the greatest benefactor of my life.” He also said “Whatever Wagner cannot do is wrong. Wagner can nevertheless do many things, but he will not, from rigor of principle. Whatever Wagner can do, no one can do after him, no one has done before him, no one shall do again. Wagner is a god.”
Nietzsche wrote of Tristan: “I cannot bring myself to take a critically cool view of this music. It sends a thrill through every fibre, every nerve, and for a long time I have not had such a sustained feeling of being swept away [Entrucktheit] as the Overture gave.”
At the dawn of Nietzsche’s revolution, however, Wagner, to Nietzsche’s chagrin, abandoned him by “prostrating” before the cross of Christ. Nietzsche, it seems, had placed too much confidence in Wagner, who soon left him in the dust and embraced the Christian ideals that he had previously sought to destroy. William L. Shirer himself writes, “Despite all his pagan heroes [Wagner] did not entirely despair of Christianity, as Nietzsche did.”
The late English psychiatrist Anthony Storr writes: “Wagner’s last opera shocked Nietzsche even more profoundly. Wagner sent him the libretto of Parsifal in December 1877, not recognizing that Nietzsche had already become disillusioned with him. Wagner’s incorporation of Christianity into Parsifal appeared to Nietzsche a betrayal of the heroic ideal in favour of renunciation and self-sacrifice.”
Returning to Christian ideals brought Wagner (along with other things) “domestic harmony,” while Nietzsche the nihilist sank into the abyss of death and destruction. “In January of 1878, Wagner sent Nietzsche the text of his newly completed opera Parsifal, and Nietzsche was appalled at what he read. In the instinctive reaction of one lapsed Lutheran to another, Nietzsche came up with an insult he thought both could understand. Parsifal, he claimed, bespoke the ‘spirit of the Counter-Reformation.’” Wagner had betrayed Nietzsche.
The “Counter-Reformation,” which Nietzsche had dreamed almost all his life would come from Wagner’s music, was now in a sorry state of affairs. Since using Wagner’s music was no longer an option, Nietzsche had to find other ways to bring his nihilistic philosophy to humanity. He went on a quest to replace Wagner. He wrote: “I’m still looking to this day for a work that possesses the same dangerous fascination, the same sweet and horrifying infinitude as Tristan, and I continue to search in vain.”
Eventually Nietzsche found what he was looking for: Bizet’s Carmen, which Nietzsche said was essentially African in its rhythmic tone and energy. “This music,” said Nietzsche,
“is lively, but its liveliness is neither French nor German. Its liveliness is African. It has this destiny; its happiness is short, sudden, and without pardon. I envy Bizet, therefore, because he has the courage to give expression to this sensibility, a sensibility which up till this time had no expression in European music, a more southern, browner, more burned sensibility…
“How the yellow afternoons of this happiness give us pleasure! We look out and believe that we have never seen the sea calmer. And how this Moorish dance speaks to us so tranquilly! How even our insatiability learns satiety from its lewd melancholy!
“Finally we have a love that has been transposed back to nature. Not the love of some ‘higher virgin’! No Senta sentimentality! Rather love as fate, as fatality, cynical, without guilt, cruel—and as a result just like nature. That love which is war in its means, and at its basis the deadly hatred of the sexes.”
Nietzsche was satisfied—Bizet’s music had given him what he wanted. Storr declares:
“Nietzsche came to prefer the music of Bizet and Offenbach to that of his former idol, Wagner. In one passage on aesthetics, Nietzsche refers to ‘the divine frivolity of the dancer.’ In another, he gives a typically playful account of his response to Carmen. ‘Yesterday I heard—would you believe it?—Bizet’s masterpiece, for the twentieth time.
“Again I stayed there with tender devotion; again I did not run away. This triumph over my impatience surprises me. How such a work makes one perfect! One becomes a ‘masterpiece’ oneself. Really, I every time I heard Carmen I seemed to myself more of a philosopher, a better philosopher, than I generally consider myself: so patient do I become, so happy, so Indian, so settled. To sit five hours: the first stage of holiness!”
Nietzsche later declared: “If only a few hundred people of the next generation get what I get out of music, then I anticipate an utterly new culture.”
As we look at the generations between Nietzsche and ourselves, it seems that he got what he wanted, because Nietzsche was able to weaponize the type of music that Plato warned us about in his Republic. Nietzsche’s music is the background of what is now rock and roll in all of its variations. Rap and rock and roll is about using your bodily assets—your derriere and your breasts in particular—to get money, power, and fame. Rappers like Snoop Dogg are now saying basically the same thing.
Commenting on Cardi B’s WAP, Snoop Dogg, said:
“Oh my God. Slow down…Let’s have some imagination. Let’s have some, you know, privacy, some intimacy where he wants to find out as opposed to you telling him. To me it’s like, it’s too fashionable when in secrecy, that should be a woman’s…prize and possession.”
Obviously Snoop Dogg, who spent much of his life denigrating women and making millions of dollars preying on young people’s weakness, seemed to have had an epiphany. He’s got more things to say:
“That’s what you should hold onto. A possession that no one gets to know about until he gets to know about it. My daughter is from a different era, though. She’s from this era. She may be doing the ‘WAP’ or apart of the ‘WAP’ and I can’t be mad at her ’cause it’s her generation, but at the same time the things that I would rather see, you know, ’cause I’ma older man.”
Snoop Dogg admitted that in his early 20s, “I may have been with the movement. I probably would have been on the remix. I love it that they express themselves and they’re doing their things. I just don’t want it that fashionable to where young girls, they can express themselves like that without even knowing that that is a jewel that they hold onto until the right person comes around.”
Both Cardi B and Snoop Dogg need to sit down and have a cup of coffee with DMX, the rapper who said quite explicitly:
“The Industry: it doesn’t have to do with talent; it’s about playing the game. The Industry: money, bitches, and hate…The Industry—if you ain’t got a strong mind—will break you down, [and] it’s a matter of time. They want you to dress like this and talk like that…The industry vultures with nothing to feast on…The Industry plays in the dirt, stays in the dirt—test the wrong one in the industry and you will get hurt.
“The industry wanted, dead or alive, new artists to sell their souls…to survive. The Industry don’t give a fuck about you! But the industry couldn’t make a dime without you!”
The industry, say DMX, doesn’t “give a fuck” about Cardi B or Snoop Dogg. The industry wants to use them so that the people at the top can enjoy their nice vacation in lavish places like Epstein’s Island. The industry, according to this explanation, has always been on a looting expedition. They have always been exploited young people’s minds, hearts, talents, and money, and even time.
Describing the looting expedition which was at the center of the Whig oligarchs since the Reformation, economic historian R. H. Tawney declared, “The upstart aristocracy of the future had their teeth in the carcass, and, having tasted blood, they were not to be whipped off by a sermon.” People in the industry has their teeth in young people’s carcass, and nothing is going to stop them from drinking young people’s blood and sweat.
This is actually the case with Jimi Hendrix. It was reported that his manager Michael Jeffrey connived in his death in order to collect millions of dollars on Hendrix’s life insurance. Jeffrey, who died in a plane crash two years after Hendrix’s death, confessed:
“I had to do it. Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive. That son of a bitch was going to leave me. If I lost him, I’d lose everything.”
Once Cardi B can no longer produce songs which seek to seduce young people, then they’ll throw her out, just like they did with people like Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, Peaches Geldof, and other celebrities. Even Madonna, when the intoxication wears off, sometimes tells the truth about how The Industry can break a person. The woman who called herself “an unapologetic bitch” and who has used her derriere to make a political statement, told the LA Times way back in 1991:
“I’m a tormented person…My pain is as big as my joy.”
Madonna and people in The Industry are tormented individuals because practical reason is absent from their careers. They don’t want to control their passion.
-  Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), 68.
- Maija Kappler, “‘WAP’ Is Making People Uncomfortable Because It’s About Female Pleasure,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2020.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Brianna Holt, “Why Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s Empowering Anthem “WAP” Is So Important,” Complex.com, August 10, 2020.
-  Ibid.
-  For studies on this, see David A Noebel, The Marxist Minstrels: A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music (Tulsa, OK: American Christian College Press, 1974).
-  David Tame, The Secret Power of Music: The Transformation of Self and Society through Musical Energy (New York: Destiny Books, 1984).
-  Ibid.
-  Ben Sisario, “Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ Proves Music’s Dirty Secret: Censorship Is Good Business,” NY Times, October 27, 2020.
-  Ibid.
-  Natasha Jokic, “14 Of The Best “WAP” Twitter Reactions That Made Me Chuckle,” Buzzfeed, August 10, 2020.
-  For further research on similar issues, Mickey Hart, Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music (Petaluma, CA: Acid Test Productions, 1999); David Henderson, ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix (New York: Atria Books, 1978 and 2008); Tony Sanchez, Up and Down with the Rolling Stones: My Rollercoaster Ride with Keith Richards (London: Blake Publishing, 2010); Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll: An Unruly History (New York: Harmony Books, 1995); Stephen Davis, Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga (New York: HarperCollins, 2008); Pete Townshend, Who I Am: A Memoir (New York: HarperCollins, 2012); Mike Stark, Black Sabbath: An Oral History (New York: HarperCollins, 2002); Charles White, The Life and Times of Little Richard (New York: Da Capo Press, 1994); David Sheff, The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon & Yoko Ono (San Francisco: Berkley Books, 1982); Albert Goldman, The Lives of John Lennon (New York: William & Morrow, 1988); Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman, No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison (New York: Warner Books, 1980).
-  Quoted in Cameron Crowe, “David Bowie: Ground Control to Davy Jones,” Rolling Stones, February 12, 1976.
-  Quoted in Jones, Dionysos Rising, 54
-  Donald De Marco and Benjamin Wiker, Architects of the Culture of Death (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2004), 47.
-  E. Michael Jones, Dionysos Rising: The Birth of Cultural Revolution Out of the Spirit of Music (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994), 58.
-  William L. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960), 102.
-  Anthony Storr, Music and the Mind (New York: Free Press, 1992), 160.
-  Jones, Dionysos Rising, 73.
-  Ibid., 54
-  Storr, Music and the Mind, 161.
-  Ibid., 166.
-  Quoted in E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2014), 1343.
-  Sadie Gray, “Hendrix murdered by his manager, says former aide,” Independent, May 31, 2009.
-  Ibid.
-  Quoted in Patrick Goldstein, “COVER STORY : IT’S NOT EASY BEING NOTORIOUS : . . . Unless you’re Madonna. Nothing’s off limits to the pop icon, whether it’s ripping open her shirt to bare her breasts, bickering with Beatty or dumping on Costner. ‘Truth or Dare’ is her latest Big Event in which Madonna plays Madonna, flirting with reality in a film of her Blond Ambition Tour,” LA Times, May 5, 1991.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.