Thursday, February 5, 2009

BIC History Month: Nasty Girl

"don't blame mr. charlie/mr. charlie is just a man/and he's doing the best he can..."--Betty Wright

There are specific artists in history that we can point to in our generation that changed the landscape of women's lib via music. There are Salt N' Pepa and Queen Latifah, female rappers that made sociopolitical statements and paved the way for female MC's to this day. There's Adina Howard, who introduced women's fetishes to the masses. There's Erykah Badu, who made it very clear that calling Tyrone would require a pay phone, and of course, there's Lil' Kim, who made it fashionable and actually pretty fly to unabashedly--and simultaneously--demand cunnilingus and credit cards.

Pushing the envelope 60's & 70's style, though, was Betty Wright, an artist and a woman you know even if you think you don't.

Betty, a Miami native and an unapologetic artist with a raspy, soulful voice, started out in gospel music. She certainly didn't camp out there though, as she quickly found herself at the top of the charts with a little song you undoubtedly know called "Clean Up Woman". Belying the rich tone of her voice, seemingly meant for "get gone" songs, Betty's career largely focused on loving, stand-by-your-man tunes and cautionary tales for women. Her career has seen such megahits as "Tonight Is The Night (You Make Me A Woman)", "No Pain No Gain", and "Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do"; and Betty's body of work has been sampled by Throwback BIC's from Mary J. to Beyonce. Her brash and sassy lyrical style produced such tracks as "Your Husband is Cheating On Us" and "What You Gonna Do With It". Very few women have had the balls to go where Betty has made a career out of going and we applaud her on this fifth day of BIC History Month as a woman and an artist that changed what it meant to "keep it real".

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