‘Please me, baby’ Cardi B and the Black Feminist Politics of Pleasure Section Articles


Lydia Ayame Hiraide


This paper reads the lyrics and accompanying visuals to 'Please Me' (2019) by Cardi B and Bruno Mars through a Black feminist framework of pleasure politics. Its central thesis argues that a nuanced politics of pleasure, as exercised by Cardi B in ‘Please Me’, effects a radical response to the historical trauma and oppression inflicted upon Black women, particularly within the realm of sex and sexuality. The paper works through some of the contradictions of (re)claiming sexuality as Black women’s right, whilst foregrounding other vectors of pleasure in order to speak back to fetishist colonial tropes which situate Black women in close proximity to sexuality, as hypersexual objects of passivity. This study thus emphasises and argues for the importance of Black hip-hop artists as rescripting narratives about Black women and women of colour by imaging the nuances of practising agential, diverse forms of pleasure.


Author Biography

Lydia Ayame Hiraide, Goldsmiths, University of London

Lydia Ayame Hiraide is a doctoral researcher in the department of Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her doctoral research thinks intersectionally about contemporary environmental activism in the UK and in France. She also has a background in literature and the performing arts, holding an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent where she was a recipient of the Ian Gregor Scholarship. Lydia's alma mater also includes SOAS, University of London, Sciences Po Paris, and the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama. She was a Co-editor of postgraduate literary journal, Litterae Mentis (2020-21), and is an Editor of Politics (from August 2021-).