Conflict Theory, Fetty Wap, and Nancy Reagan

Conflict Theory applied to deviance studies looks at how laws can be used to control the proletariat and serve the interests of the bourgeoisie.  Laws provide power to everyone on paper equally, but obscure real power.

When Nancy Reagan died, a petition was started on entitled “Have Fetty Wap Perform “Trap Queen” At Nancy Reagan’s Funeral.”

Fetty Wap is a rapper and his song “Trap Queen” is a thinly veiled recognition of the role women play in houses used for crack cocaine production.  “Trap” was initially a slang term for a house where crack is produced.  The term has since morphed into the label of a particular style of southern (US) rap.  Through context clues in “Trap Queen,” a trap queen could be defined as someone who aids in the preparation of drugs (“showed her how to whip it, now she remixin’ for low” and “cookin’ pies with my baby”) and accounting (“we be countin’ up, watch how far them bands go”), as well as being someone to spend money on (“we be letting bands go” and “left the mall, I’m gettin’ fly with my baby”) and have fun with (“I love her how she work the damn pole,” “I get high with my baby,” “I can ride with my baby”).  Women are also considered to provide a more legitimate front for a house that would otherwise have a large number of young men hanging out.


The petition is drawing a comparison between the proletariat / individual / powerless (Fetty Wap) against the bourgeoisie / government / powerful dealing in illegal drugs.

As explained in the petition,

“While her husband, Ronald Reagan, was linking up with Papi to flood the streets with narcotics, Nancy was on TV telling kids to “Say No To Drugs.” Her infamous “anti-drug” phrase encouraged strict laws on drug possession that led to a school-to-prison pipeline we’re still dealing with now. Blacks and Latinos went to jail in droves for possessing drugs her husband gave them. It was an incredible sleight of hand that would make any wannabe Trap Queen hide in shame for her inability to be as diabolical as Nancy.  So, to commemorate her contribution to the Trap, we’d love to have Fetty Wap perform “Trap Queen” at Nancy’s funeral. To usher her to a better place…where she’s probably cooking pies with her baby. “


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