The slang term “lady lumps” refers to women's breasts. It is derived from a song which was originally performed by the Black Eyed Peas, a hip hop group based in Los Angeles, California. The song, “My Humps,” became immensely popular in the United States shortly after its release, appearing on bestselling charts and radio playlists and spawning a number of parodies, along with slang terms and catchphrases derived from the lyrics, including “lady lumps” for breasts.
”My Humps” appeared on the 2005 album Monkey Business. The song was written by will.i.am, one of the members of the group, and it includes extremely sexually suggestive lyrics. The “humps” in the title are buttocks, while the “lady lumps” in the lyrics are breasts. The lyrics of the song suggest that people are entranced by the singer's physical characteristics, leading them to spend large amounts of money on her. Specific luxury brands are mentioned in the lyrics, and in the video for “My Humps,” the singer can be seen dancing with an assortment of men who gawk at her lady lumps while she carries an array of designer bags and other expensive gifts.
The melody of the song has a tendency to stick in the brain, and some listeners voted “My Humps” one of the most irritating songs of 2005. Those who were irritated by the song could find examples of it everywhere, from radio stations to television shows to the Internet, and a number of singers including notoriously raunchy Peaches and singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette parodied the song.
Some critics have argued that “My Humps” is offensive and exploitative, in addition to sexually suggestive. The focus on physical appearance and “driving the brothers crazy” in the lyrics has attracted the ire of some people in the feminist community, as well as people who dislike stereotyping about the sexual preferences of black men. The song also seems to imply that women are manipulative, using their bodies to get what they want from the people around them. However, sexually suggestive and profane lyrics are a well-established part of the rap and hip hop tradition in the United States, so singling out one particular song for its lyrics could be viewed as rather counterproductive.
Other critics have pointed out that the Black Eyed Peas are well-known for making socially conscious music which often includes commentaries about society. The song and accompanying music video could be viewed as a parody of the club scene, in which women are judged by physical appearance, and as a commentary on the role of female musicians in popular music. Many women musicians find themselves cataloged by body part, from “lovely lady lumps” to “humps,” rather than being judged on their merits as musicians, and this is often a source of frustration to female artists. The music video also includes a subtle mockery of the glitzy and often garish music videos used to promote songs by female artists.