Bitch BadLupe Fiasco has been rapping about the word ‘bitch’ for years now – since the first Food & Liquor. But after the less-than-compelling Lasers, this second single from Food & Liquor II returns to his bread and butter (er, food and liquor?) social criticism-filled rap – a move that may yet earn the album’s subtitle.

Bitch Bad“, unsurprisingly, muses on the use of rap’s favorite feminine adjective. But don’t stop there, even if the hook shows little else:

Bitch bad, woman good
Lady better, they misunderstood

Like most every Lupe song, only made more obvious here with his conversational delivery, the lyrical meat lies in the verses. Running through typical introductions to hip hop’s loose words, Lupe traces the social complexities of misogyny. But he keeps the preaching tones to lesser men:

Disclaimer: this rhymer, Lupe’s not usin’ ‘bitch’ as a lesson
but as a psychological weapon
to set in your mind and really mess with your conceptions
discretions, reflections, it’s clever misdirection
’cause while I was rappin’, they was growin’ up fast
Nobody stepped in to ever slow ’em up, gasp

Lupe leans heavily on the idea that one should understand rather than condemn – but don’t mistake that for acceptance. Working a subtle position on decisive issues into a song that remains remarkably radio friendly, Lupe once again displays the remarkable (and welcomed) stubbornness championed on “Dumb it Down“: he’s consciously providing lyrical discussions and an intellectual depth we come across too seldom.