The Joke of Being Bad and BoujeeFebruary 8, 2017
The hit song “Bad and Boujee” by Atlanta rap group Migos made it to the number one spot of Billboard’s Hot RnB/Hip-Hop Songs last week. The track has a catchy rhyme and seductive beat that has heads bobbing all over the country. What is it about this song that has such a mass appeal? Is it the music alone? Is it the lyrics? What is Bad and Boujee?
In the song, Migos claims that their women are “bad and boujee” and that they came from nothing to something. They rap: “My b—ch is bad and boujee, cookin up dope with an Uzi. My ni—as is savage, ruthless. We got 30’s and 100 rounds too.” Migos claims that they have never had access to old money but that they have an abundance of new money. With such access, they spare no chance to indulge in the luxuries that new money provides.
The example of the use of wealth by Migos is typical of a generation that is mesmerized by name brands and the fallacy of being associated with a higher class of Negro than the next. The term ‘Boujee’ is even a play-on the word “bourgeois”. However, for one to be considered bourgeois (boo-shwa) he must first be in the bourgeoisie, which many in popular culture are not, regardless of how much money they can amass. Being in the bourgeoisie is about class and not money, the lack of which is displayed in the song’s video.
In the video that accompanies the song, it depicts two women clad in expensive clothes, exiting an SUV. On the hood of the SUV are fast food packages painted in black with “Chanel” logos affixed to them. Later in the video, Migos, his crew, and his women are seen dining at a fast-food restaurant dressed in expensive attire, however they are dining over fried chicken, Ramen noodles, and Champagne. This is the group’s version of being bourgeois, or boujee, as they refer to their women. Bad and boujee.
In her 2007 book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster, Parisian author Dana Thomas examines the “democratizing” of luxury as it has been made available for the masses. She explains that historically, luxury was an idea of a small group of wealthy families. However, over the years, the masses have been able to get their hands on money and possessions. In their quest to live like those in the bourgeoisie, its easy to see how money is spent and what the masses consider class. The group’s song is a perfect representation of the ideas presented in Thomas’s book, for the images seen in his video almost match the cover art on her book….fast food containers with luxury logos affixed to them.
Migos presents us with a critical look at what is experienced in our community and what are seen as symbols of success. To Migos, a woman is bad and boujee when she’s strapped in luxury fashion eating Ramen noodles and chicken in a fast food joint. I wonder if they would consider spending any of that new money making sure their women have an education. Send her to a community college or put down a few thousands for a 4-year degree. If she is truly “their” woman, bad and boujee, certainly they should be setting her up for success, when their new money runs out.
The rich and wealthy will seldom be found wearing flashy clothing displaying logos. The rich and wealthy seldom drive expensive automobiles. The “rich and fabulous” must look at these representations as comedy. It would be beneficial if all of this newfound money could be used to affect the lives of our families and communities. Migos compares and contrasts old and new money. Old money is still around. There are many elderly residents in our community who have “old” money. You don’t see them walking around in luxury clothes or driving luxury cars. They own rent houses and have investments and they secretly donate to charities and social programs. New money is gone overnight because it’s often spent on the unnecessary luxuries of the present. Old money will always be around. It should be embarrassing to know that the Migos lifestyle is a joke in the eyes of the imitated. However, we will bob our heads to the beat and continue living lives of Deluxe….bad and boujee.