Black Excellence

Challenging the Perception of Black Women In Music Videos

Ok here we go.  I can already hear all the people getting mad about how I’m trying to take away all the beautiful big butts in music videos. Also, who does this guy think he is by trying to say that a woman is not black excellence because she decides to be in a music video.

When the truth is that is not necessary what I’m trying to do.

So a little back story.  Over the last couple of days, I had the pleasure of watching some African ( not African American ) music videos from all over the continent. Artist such as Iyanya and Korede Bello  from Nigeria, Debe Alemseged from Ethiopia, and  Sarkodie from Ghana.  It was crazy to see the abundance of talent that the average person doesn’t get to hear in United States.  Artist that are reaching millions of views and have a worldwide following.

The sad thing is there was another thing I noticed. Where are all the bitches and hoes lyrics with exposed asses dancing on top of cars. It was crazy how few and far between it was before I saw a girl even really exposed.  Women were dancing of course and dressed sexy, but it definitely took a while before I saw what looked liked the Western approach to music videos that I had been accustomed to!

Omarion, Music video, Black Women In Music Videos
Property of Maybach Music / Atlantic

So it made me beg the question – Is It Finally Time to Change the Perception of Black Women In all of our Music Videos?  I mean with facts such as black women being  the fastest growing entrepreneurs in the county and one of the most educated groups in the US ,we soon may not have a choice. With black movements such as Black Girls Rock, role models like Michelle Obama, and many others , black women themselves might soon take out of the gate keepers anyways.

Now, I would be hypocrite and a liar if I said that I did not partially enjoy seeing women half naked or dreamed about being artist in those music videos when I was younger. It seemed like whoever could push it the most would be talked about the most the next day at school (I remember Nelly’s Tip Drill like it was yesterday).  I get it – It was making money, sex sells and a young guy or girl doesn’t have time to figure out the long time effects  of the imagery that is being portrayed on TV.  I can’t blame them just like I can’t blame blacks taking roles of servers in Hollywood back in the day.

Nelly, Tip Drill, Music video, Black Women In Music Videos
property of Fo’Reel, Derrty, Universal



The overall question remains, is now the time to change that? Should we now start to show the world that we have made it in the door – and now are going to use that power to start uplifting how black women are perceived. Not only with ass shots but also with the tired narrative that dark women are not as attractive as light skin women.

I think it is. With artist such as Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole, you are starting to see a movement happening that everyone should hop on.

Kendrick lamar , Poetic Justice, Drake
Top Dawg Aftermath Interscope

We need to take the power of our influence and change the way our women are looked at and portrayed to the rest of the world.  Use it to change how they look at the way their hair has to be, what shade of black they should be, and how they should be treated.

As always, let me know your thoughts below.

You can read a recent article I wrote on Jay-z 4:44 album interview  by clicking here 

Also read the Roots take on this subject, an article called Music Videos Slammed for Negative Portrayal of Black Women written by Lynette Holloway by clicking here