Charlie Penn of Essence.com asked readers if Lil Wayne’s message to women digs deep enough in the video for his hit single “How to Love”, which was released today. My answer to Penn’s question before watching the video: Absolutely not. My answer to Penn’s question after viewing the video: Absolutely not, but good try.
How could I dismiss Wayne’s message before watching the video? Let me explain. Directed by Chris Robinson, “How to Love” tells the story of a young woman who, after a childhood plagued with domestic violence and emotional abuse, becomes involved in stripping and prostitution, and later tests positive for HIV. Although I think Wayne and Robinson’s attempt to address the consequences of abuse and exploitation is laudable, it does not mean much in the grand scheme of things. Wayne releases a new single approximately once every five minutes; therefore, it will take more than one music video to counterbalance the effects of his extensive catalogue of venomous lyrics in which women are often victimized or objectified, such as those in Wayne’s “Dick Pleaser”: