There are a lot of people who are not pleased with the way black women are portrayed in Hollywood. When you think of who those people might be, rappers are NOT the first to come to mind. As a matter of fact, rappers are often the very ones we are upset with for how black women are depicted in their music videos. The DMV’s own Wale decided to break the mold with his recent video for his single with Jeremih “The Body”. The video shows the rapper serenading a “regular girl”. And there were no “booty” in sight. Wale shared with Necole Bitchie the concept behind the video as well as his frustrations with black women only being depicted as “hyper-sexualized objects created by doctors with the sole intent to take pictures”. Read his exclusive blog penned for Necole Bitchie below.
I have honestly been sick and tired of our representation in the entertainment world. I feel like they curve “us” as a whole, then every blue moon they allow a pass for a Black person and we’re supposed to throw a party for it.
My question is: What happened to Hollywood?
I remember Lisa Bonet and a plethora of other beautiful Black women on “Different World.” I remember princess Jada [Pinkett]. I used to daydream about her. I was only in elementary school but when I first saw Jada I was in love. Nothing about this princess screamed, “Sex!” My mind was allowed to play with the idea of what lies under this fully clothed “around the way” girl. True, perhaps a child shouldn’t have such fantasies but that’s besides the point.
Black women were represented in such a way that they were not hyper-sexualized objects created by doctors with the sole intent to take pictures, just to add on even more enhancements- be it Photoshop or an abundance of makeup with a sprinkle of good lighting.
When Jeremih and I did a video for my single,”The Body,” it hurt my soul coming to the realization that there is hardly any positivity in Black Hollywood. Years ago I wanted to do a short movie for a single, with legendary director John Singleton. I’m not sure if he didn’t believe in me or if he plain old didn’t have the time to do it, but it never happened.
However, even if we were to do something that represented our culture, where would we start? Casting calls via Instagram? Today’s directors head straight to Instagram for their next star, with casting more or less being determined by how many “likes” a woman receives on the regular.
“The Body,” was an attempt to get us, as Black people, headed in a more elevated direction. Mariah [the model I used in the video] kind of epitomized what I felt a normal beautiful “round the way” girl looked like. These days, we spend so much time focusing on “that assssss, ” we forget how much of love’s chemistry is contingent to a beautiful face and genuine personality. Personalities that used to cut through our television screens when Jada would flex that B’more attitude in a scene. The authenticity back when there was no desire to portray women as just an over-sexualized, clay-like-body to Instagram-obsessed people!
Yes, I’m aware that my latest single is called “The Body.” I also am aware we that barely showed the body… Maybe, just maybe, I thought I could trick these dudes into looking a little deeper. And if only for one video, bring back the glory days of a more genuinely prestigious, “Black Hollywood.”
I hear some of these same thoughts all the time, but to hear them come from a black rapper in 2015…all I can say is YAAAS! Thoughts.