Drake’s latest single, “Nice for What,” discusses a modern woman who holds the world in her hand with a job, relationship and social media presence. But all respect for this attempt at a #MeToo-era song is lost by burying images of real, strong women with lyrics about making “that ass jump.”
The video — which featured such strong females as Misty Copeland, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi and Olivia Wilde — garnered over 16 million views in the past few days, indicating a general interest in this video beyond Drake’s raps and the hi-hat laden beat behind the track. The video had no plot or story to it. Rather, it showcased different influential and empowered women in short vignettes that follow each other.
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These women include the aforementioned Copeland, the African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, and Blackish stars Ross and Shahidi — the latter of which will soon pursue her degree at Harvard. These unrelated scenes are intended to come together to suggest female empowerment.
I would like to clarify there is nothing inherently wrong with the song itself. In fact, it’s encouraging to see a rapper talk about women having careers and being in control of their brands. The Grammy-winning rapper spoke with conviction as he talked about these “real” women not needing to be subjected to a man — which is a ship we should all be able to get behind.
The problem with this track came in the juxtaposition of its last section, which repeated the phrase “make that ass jump” many times — with pictures of the aforementioned boss women still being projected. Not surprisingly, the images became more and more sexualized as this section played over. Just when I thought we finally had a hip-hop song that adequately empowered women, I was proven wrong.
Beyond the video, the chorus was another discouraging aspect. This line is clearly sung by a female vocalist and carried a vital role in making the track catchy. Alas, I cannot credit the singer on this track, as she is uncredited and reports of her identity vary.
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It’s difficult to accept a song that is supposed to empower women when a female artist who played a crucial part in this track doesn’t receive credit — let alone the same compensation Drake and the male producers behind this track will receive with every view of the video.
While I still have many problems with the track and video, the intention to empower women is still present at some level — which is admirable.