Last night—or early this morning, Cardi dropped her first single in nine months. Co-starring our girl Megan Thee Stallion, the “WAP” video featured updos that harken back to the nineties, color coordinated wigs ala Lil Kim, and the two moved around in a fun house similar something you’d see in a Missy Elliott video.
It felt like these two snatched the baton from the female rappers of yesterday and brought into the 2020 like daughters who had studied and shown themselves approved.
The video was such an homage to Lil Kim that the iconic rapper is still trending on Twitter as I type.
The video was perfect, with a single exception.
Ms. Kylie Jenner.
More than Jenner infiltrating a space for Black women, she contributed absolutely nothing to the visuals for this song. Instead, she took us out of the flow entirely as the music stopped as Jenner click clacked down the hallway, giving nothing more than a hair flip and wide eyes. Some described her look as “scared.” It was that bad.
Meanwhile, the other Black women featured in the video pop singer Normani, rapper Mulatto, Rosalia, Rubi Rose and Sukihana gave us sex appeal, twerking, and at the very least a convincing body roll.
Yet, it was Jenner who had the longest screen time outside of Cardi and Megan.
I have no choice but to believe that it’s because Jenner’s whiteness has deemed her more noteworthy than the Black women who have and exhibited more of the talents specifically suited for this video in particular.
Right now, there are people on the internet, Black and white alike, who are arguing that Megan and Cardi, twerking, in the splits, showing ass, and rapping about their pu$$ys has set women back or is a bad influence on the younger generation. But Jenner will never be a part of that conversation.
And the same whiteness that earned Kylie popularity and thus a spot in the video, will be the same whiteness that protects her from criticisms of her morality, sexuality, or overall character.
Furthermore, if there was going to be a white woman in this video, the last one I wanted to see was anyone of the Kardashian/Jenner ilk. They’ve taken enough from Black culture with credit or acknowledgement from taking Blac Chyna’s man, to throwing Jordyn Woods under the bus, to stealing the Clermont twins’ aesthetic. All of it is recycled and deemed profitable because she’s doing it with white skin.
Aside from the three seconds we spent watching Jenner walk down the hall, WAP really is that girl. It’s beautiful. It features Black aesthetics. It embraces Black women’s sexuality–knowing that it will still be demonized, and it praises one of the most powerful, life-giving, soul snatching body parts, our vaginas.
You can watch “WAP” in the video below.