This is another piece that ended up orphaned. Look, I got paid so we Gucci, but I still felt it should live somewhere. The song is garbage, by the way. Jennifer Lopez could’ve easily just re-released the original version of “Good Hit” instead.
When I read on various sites and across social media that Jennifer Lopez’s new single, “Ain’t Your Mama,” was a “women’s empowerment” or “feminist anthem,” I chuckled like a cartoon villain in the earlier moments of the movie. Like, I don’t know much about algebra, but I know a single produced by a man being sued for sexual assault and battery doesn’t add up to either of those things. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the online clapback to come.
Since then, Meghan Trainor, one of the song’s co-writers, has spoken in defense of J.Lo, telling Digital Spy of the criticism:
“[It was] not fair on her, not at all. I texted her the song and she had no idea — she thought I did it alone by myself at my house, which a lot of people think because I do do that. I sent it to her and said, ‘Do you like the song?’ and she said, ‘I love the song, my kid loves the song — he’s made me play it five times already so I know it’s a hit — when can I cut it?’, so I said immediately, ‘Whenever you want!’”
I have a hard time believing this, but I’ll refrain from hitting Scooby Doo and The Mystery Machine on the hip to further investigate. Even if Lopez had no initial idea that Dr. Luke played a hand in the song’s formation, there’s quite the process that happens between the recording of a song and its distribution. Therefore, somewhere along the way, it should have dawned on the artist in question who all had a hand in its creation. So let’s be clear that Jennifer Lopez and her label made a choice to release the single anyway.
As a fan of Jennifer Lopez’s music, it’s a choice I wish she hadn’t made. For one, the song itself isn’t especially great. It’s definitely no “If You Had My Love,” or hell, “Good Hit.” Couple that with the controversy and one wonders if the song was worth it the noise it has created.
While individuals are certainly innocent until proven guilty, there’s a notable contrast in the many artists who have expressed support for Kesha – Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Adele, Kelly Clarkson – and the virtual crickets over on Dr. Luke’s side. “Ain’t Your Mama” feels like a slap in the face to Kesha. It’s easy to understand why many are angered by the track’s release.
Yet, there’s also something to be said about when people pick and choose to speak out.
Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke was filed in October 2014. Less than a month later, teenage singer-rapper Becky G released “Can’t Stop Dancin’,” produced by Dr. Luke – whose label she signed to after meeting him at age 14. In April 2015, Becky G released “Lovin’ So Hard,” also produced by Dr. Luke. Months later came two additional singles in “Break A Sweat” and “You Love It,” again each produced by Dr. Luke.
Where was the outcry? If we are concerned about proximity to Dr. Luke, should there not have been more noise made about a teenage girl recording with him virtually non-stop? This is not to negate the efforts of people airing their disappointments with Jennifer Lopez to release a Dr. Luke produce single in the wake of his ongoing legal fight with Kesha. My point is that there should be consistency.
Nonetheless, we do have to hold our artists accountable for their actions.
Last fall, while hosting the Soul Train Awards, Erykah Badu referred to R. Kelly as a “brother” and argued that he “has done more for Black people than anyone.” In terms of his contribution to R&B, R. Kelly has certainly changed the genre and moved it forward it ways very few can ever claim similar rights to. Still, though he might have not been convicted in his child pornography case, he has a long history of accusations of sexual assault against underaged girls — one that he continues to struggle to explain.
Though Badu doesn’t call herself a feminist, she has described herself as a humanist, telling The Guardian, “I consider myself a spiritual being first, a human being second, a woman third, and fourth is pretty … or ugly!” Perhaps we have different ideas of humanity, but I’m not especially fond of championing a man who has married teenagers and “allegedly” urinated on minors.
The same way I expect someone like Jennifer Lopez, who was recently named the first-ever Global Advocate for Girls and Women at the UN Foundation, to not release songs produced by Dr. Luke while he’s being sued for sexual battery.
That’s why no matter whatever explanation Meghan Trainor offers, it does not excuse certain realities. Jennifer Lopez made a choice. Somewhere along the way, someone had to have known about Dr. Luke’s involvement in the song. By now, Jennifer Lopez has to have been informed of the feedback, and yet, it remains unaddressed.
Those who position themselves as pro women or pro humanity rightfully deserved to be questioned if someone feels they are not holding up to that standard. It’s not about being perfect, it’s just about holding people accountable. Fans have a right to do that, only when it comes to the likes of Dr. Luke, it’s best to do so with consistency.