Why the Backlash Over the Otis Video?

August 16, 2011  |  


Last Thursday night MTV premiered Jay-Z & Kanye West’s new visual to accompany their single “Otis” off their new album titled Watch the Throne. Rap Radar said it best when they said the video was the most expensive low budget video ever.

Simply put the video consists of Jay & Yeezy in a chopped up Maybach with no roof and no doors riding around doing donuts in a parking lot with a mural of the American flag as the backdrop. Pretty simple video, no deep concepts or creative imagery to analyze here. So why did the video cause such a firestorm on the internet?

I might have neglected that in this ball of fun that they were having there were four girls in the back of the car having a ball too. One of the girls might have been black, but it’s hard to say definitively. Some black women (not all) took to their timelines and blogs to vent their frustrations about the lack of melanin in the video. My only question; are you effing kidding me?

We’ve got to do better and find some better things to be up in arms about. One minute the same women are accusing hip-hop of being filled with misogyny (which it is) and saying that rap videos exploit black women (which some of them do). Now those same women are up in arms about not being exploited, please pick a side because the back and forth is confusing me.

I can think of one reason why there were no sisters in the video;

It looked dangerous. Maybe the sisters on the casting couch were like umm “I’m not trying to ride round in a car with no doors spewing fire like this is back to the future!”

If there were no black women doctors being hired at Harlem hospital, that would be a reason to rally the troops and get out there and put pressure on the administration of the hospital. If black women are being denied entrance to graduate programs at a particular institution because of the color of their skin, let’s raise some hell. When little black girls are getting shot in Detroit or abducted in Ohio, and the media ignores it, I’ll be right with you searching for justice. But a music video, as Ed lover would say ‘c’mon son gtfohwtbs.

What did you think about the Otis video? Were you offended that there were no black women in the video?

Email nativenotes or follow him on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr and check out some his writings over at Notes of This Native Son

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