Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton/polyester thread, buttons. 2017.
This quilt mashes up the violent, misogynist song lyrics sung by Rihanna in her “boss bitch” persona with a quilt.
A quilt as a physical object is just a collection of assembled fabrics. But that collection of fabrics has a deep cultural resonance, and is imbued with a host of emotional meanings. It is the quintessential symbol of domesticity: Femininity, motherhood, female caretaking, and emotional labor.
Rihanna’s hit 2015 song “Bitch Better Have My Money” is classified as “trap music,” a bleak urban style of hip hop characterized by “observations of hardship in the “trap”, street life, poverty, violence and harsh experiences in urban inner city surroundings.”
What happens when these two opposing forces clash? Which one wins? Is the “street language” tamed, or is the quilt despoiled?
(And why are these forces positioned in opposition to each other in the first place?)