Once upon a time, Black Sabbath were considered an ungodly, profane and terrifying outrage to public decency, with their dark tales of Satanic possession, suicidal impulses, drug abuse and ‘fallen women’. These days, of course, Ozzy Osbourne is considered a national treasure, and Sabbath are rightly hailed for the deep moral core to their apocalyptic doom. Which means that one must now look elsewhere to identify the transgressive music most likely to threaten the very foundations of western civilisation. For the devil can, of course, take many forms, righteous and virtuous friends, in his ceaseless quest to steal and devour our mortal souls.
But what is this that stands before us? Figure in black which points out… stuff? It’s Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath’s chief lyricist, and he has heard a new symphony of sickness… Cardi B’s summer hit WAP, featuring Megan Thee Stallion.
It’s fair to say that Butler would not normally be considered an authority on US hip hop, but these are unprecedented times, as we’re continually told, and Sabbath’s bassist was moved to offer his opinion on the raunchy club anthem while discussing Unspeakable Elvis, a song from his recently-reissued 1997 solo album Black Science, during a new interview with Kerrang!
“That's really about the fact that whatever new music comes out, it’s viewed as the devil’s music,” the bassist explains. “I remember when Elvis [Presley] came out everybody said he was Satan. And then in the ’60s and ’70s, he became America's national treasure. It happens with every new wave of music. Like metal, obviously. The Christians were going mental when Sabbath came about. And then when rap came about, people were up in arms about that and certain words that rappers were using. I have to say, though, that Cardi B pisses me off with that WAP song. It's disgusting!”
For those unaware of the song, which has racked up over 478 million Spotify plays, and a further 280 million plays on YouTube for its official video, WAP is an acronym for Wet-Ass Pussy, with Ms B advising potential paramours that they may wish to consider bringing “a bucket and a mop” should they find themselves in a position to have intimate relations with either herself or her friend, Ms Stallion.
“A friend of mine didn't know what the song was about,” Butler continues, “but his 10-year-old girl was singing it. I was, like, What?! To put it on [an] album, fair enough. But to put it out as a single? That’s a bit much. Then again, I’m 71. A bloody old goat!”
Whether or not you agree with Butler’s views, we sincerely hope that his diligence in alerting the rock and metal community to potentially harmful material will serve as a catalyst for other scene elders/“old goats” to step up to the plate: next week, Queen’s Brian May offers his considered opinion on Doja Cat’s Juicy…