19th century philosophy

“These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law”

Hegel’s aim in “Phenomenology of Spirit” is to ultimately achieve a sense of absolute knowing by dissecting the role of consciousness (quite meticulously) in the different forms of perception. He also touches on many different angles of knowledge, religion, power dynamics, etc. One of the ways he does this is by highlighting the subjective nature of reality and therefore the deception of human senses, more specifically the deception of certainty. This essay discusses Hegel’s idea of this contrast in a controversial lyric by Megan the Stallion. 

The line “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law” was notoriously received as a jab at fellow rapper Nicki Minaj for her husband’s failure to abide by “Megan’s Law” when he neglected to publicly register as a sex offender. The atrocity itself aside, when I heard the line, I took it completely as a play on words that had no target or direction at anyone. Rappers are known to use their names in unique ways that either bend the mind or evade logic completely, which is why many listeners assumed nothing of the line at all. This is a rather fun example of one of Hegel’s focuses on the distinction of reality based on senses. He declares that there can be a twofold interpretation of the same thing which implies that the object’s (or line in this case) significance relies on determinateness and is not in and of itself a truth. In passage 126 Hegel remarks, “it is posited as the absolute negation relating only itself to itself, but negation relating itself to itself is just the sublation of itself, or it has its essence in an other.” In this line he notes that something that appears self contradicting is merely a subjective object with external perception that truly defines it. Moreover, Hegel argues that during object perception, an idea like this can have “essentially one” meaning and “inessentially many” meanings in relation to outside influence. He concludes by stating that understanding the subjective nature of an idea or object therefore relies not solely on perception but on its context. This is seen very acutely in this now semi-infamous line when its interpretation varied depending on the circumstances of the listener.

2 thoughts on ““These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law””

  1. Nice example of a word functioning with multiple meanings here. I too was unaware of Megan’s law being a thing that Nikki’s husband failed to abide by and thought it was referring to the authority that Megan felt that she herself was wielding. After learning that it was a reference to Nikki’s husband I completely forgot about the initial way of thinking about the line and this was likely a wrong move of mine. Acknowledging the line’s multiple meanings at roughly the same time is now leading to a greater appreciation of the lyrics. As a Barb, I don’t appreciate the line too much though hahaha.

  2. I’ll be honest when I saw the title of your post I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’m aware of the controversy and the situation. How it was very intriguing and you made a wonderful connection. It was very straightforward and clear to understand. The possibility of this line having multiple meanings depending on your perspective is also very amazing. Just like Richard, I had no clue what Megan’s Law was so to me the line was stale then of course after I was enlightened it meant much more. So maybe not this line specifically but now his makes me wonder how many interpetions are there for certain famous lyrics and what the actual writer meant?

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