Single Review: Destiny’s Child “Nasty Girl”

Nasty Girl
Year: 2002
Album: Survivor

Like the popular girls hanging out in the common area of the high school, Destiny’s Child mocks and puts down former members of their clique or those who simply do not meet their standard of “cool.”

The sanctimonious and mean-spirited “Nasty Girl” is directed at one particular girl who is nicknamed “Nasty.” With each verse, Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle each take their turns teasing her. The lyrics, akin to schoolyard bullying, are petty and hypocritical.

“Nasty Girl” begins with Destiny’s Child hissing “You’s a nasty (nasty), trashy (nasty), sleazy (nasty), classless (nasty.)” Beyonce then sings the repeated lyrics that she should wear some clothes and accuses her of being a slut in every verse. In an ironic moment, Beyonce sings “You make it hard/for girls like myself who respect themselves/And have dignity.” However, in the enhanced portion of the album, the group is wearing cheap, gold hot pants and matching bikini tops, with “booty all out/cleavage from here to Mexico” as they perform “Independent Women, Pt 1” at the Grammys.

Beyonce is ringleader, singing most of the song. She mumbles and doesn’t pronounce her words properly. She also stammers once music speeds up some. Rowland manages to get some lyrics in, however, is quickly overtaken by Beyonce again. For the brief moments Rowland is heard, she is clear and on key.
Williams only gets a few seconds in before she’s cut off by Beyonce’s chorus.

The sample from Baltimora’s “Tarzan Boy” is used effectively. It’s unrecognizable and given an R&B update. Towards the end, however, the sample takes a turn for the worse. Beyonce copies the jungle “who-oh-ohs” used in the original. Unnecessary and indulgent, it’s there only to give her another chance to show off her voice.

It’s unfortunate that Destiny’s Child are sending the worst messages about the women and playing into stereotypes. They hold the same misogynic view as rappers do. According to Destiny’s Child, women are jealous of each other, wear almost nothing, and flirt shamelessly. While some women do that, it’s wrong to suggest that they all are like that.

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