Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money (or BBHMM in polite circles) dropped at the end of March. The track debuted in the Billboard Top 25, propelled by more than 100,000 paid downloads in the first week. It is a hard, raw song, a righteous threat of violence, a clarion call for getting one’s due by any means necessary.
Like most artists, RiRi is apolitical, so there’s no telling what story lies beneath the lyrics. On the surface, the song is a simple ultimatum for money owed and overdue. But could it be the song of a pimp or a drug dealer referring to an employee’s daily take? Or could it be, as some have suggested, a song about slavery reparations? It’s an anthem for many causes, and one that anyone can make their own.
Let’s not get touchy about the profanity. “Bitch” isn’t really even a cuss word these days. And while men should continue to use caution when speaking of women, the term goes way beyond gender. Any and every body can be a “bitch”. There’s a whole syntax that applies to use of the word.
But seriously, BBHMM is a demand that a debt be acknowledged and paid. That’s the fundamental standpoint of a plaintiff. Someone has caused an injury and tried to pretend they didn’t, or that the injury wasn’t important. A lawsuit is a command to take the matter seriously and resolve it.
We should never forget that courts evolved as an alternative to street justice. In the bad old days (and too often these days), when someone refused to pay what was owed, you’d make three quick shots to the head “like brrap, brrap, brrap” to settle it for good. Even in the muted and stately atmosphere of a modern courtroom, that attitude still prevails. Plaintiffs want to take defendants out anyway they can and as soon as possible.
So when you sue someone, take Rihanna’s attitude into court with you, and show no mercy. And when you’re defending a suit, understand the vision for your destruction that is held by the other side. Your plaintiff means to get that money.