Drake just dropped his new video “Nice For What” and the Internet promptly went crazy — with good reason. The star-studded clip, which includes Issa Rae, Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tiffany Haddish, Yara Shahidi, Zoe Saldana, Jourdan Dunn, Letitia Wright, Syd, and Misty Copeland, is remarkable for its celebration of black women in front of and behind the camera.
Let’s start with the fact that Drake sampled Lauryn Hill’s classic song “Ex-Factor” from her landmark album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which turns 20 years old this August. Kudos to him for getting that sample cleared.
You can tell this video was directed by a woman because when was the last time you saw such an unabashed celebration of multiple facets of womanhood that wasn’t overtly sexual?
We see Rae in a gorgeous green gown commanding a boardroom full of older white men to sit down; Saldana playing with her children; Shahidi wearing her Harvard hoodie surrounded by textbooks and notebooks (lest you forgot she’s an Ivy League student in addition to starring on Grown-ish); Haddish smoking cigars and hitting the Nae Nae in a futuristic black and white neon set; Syd, one of the best music producers in the game (and also a queer black woman) looking relaxed and happy; and Wright, the breakout star of Black Panther — who’s no slouch on the mic herself, brushing her shoulders off in a red bomber jacket, white tee, and black pants.
Of course, the video doesn’t shy away from the sensual — just check out actress and known fashionista Ross dancing in a field wearing a silvery, body hugging jumpsuit and Copeland pirouetting in a white leotard while showing off her world-famous calves — but the women here aren’t sexual objects to be ogled or prized as another possession for Drake to collect. They are presented as the powerful, strong, and graceful women that they are.
We'll take more representation for women in music videos like this, please.