Chris Brown, singer and man with an ever-growing history of assault, released the track "Back To Sleep" in November 2015. The hit featured such ethically questionable lyrics as "Just let me rock, fuck you back to sleep girl / Don't say a word no (no, don't you talk)." Since its release, the song has racked up over 37 million views on YouTube and spent 12 weeks on Billboard's Top 100.
Sunday afternoon, Best Coast, the singer-songwriter whose real name is Bethany Cosentino, railed against Brown's lyrics on Twitter, saying the song "perpetuates rape culture."
Cosentino criticized the song's message against consensual sex but also lamented the fact it slipped by record industry decision-makers to win a place on Brown's album "Royalty," named for his young daughter.
"People learn from music, they learn from popular culture," the singer tweeted. While she called out the song's ongoing popularity, she noted that her criticism wasn't limited to Brown.
Among other artists, Robin Thicke certainly caused a stir with his massive 2013 hit "Blurred Lines," which suggested that permission is somehow a gray area. Justin Bieber's 2015 hit "What Do You Mean" got flack for similar messaging.
Read Cosentino's take below:
This isn't the first time Cosentino has written about the culture of sexism in music. In a February essay in Lenny Letter, she voiced support for the women who have accused music publicist Heathcliff Berru of sexual harassment -- Cosentino herself had previously alleged Berru harassed her -- and called out gendered criticism in news and social media.
"People need to stop calling me a 'whiny baby' because I write songs about heartache and my feelings," she wrote. "Did anyone call The Beatles 'whiny babies' for singing the lyrics 'This boy wants you back again'?"
Never change, Bethany Cosentino.
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