Entertainment

Cardi B’s ‘Press’ Is Being Praised As A Look Into The Judicial System And Its Reliance On Old White Men

The day after Cardi B pleaded “not guilty” to the assault of two bartenders at a strip club in August 2018, she dropped her long-anticipated music video for summer banger “Press.” In the five hours since the video was published, it’s reached nearly 2 million views–a new record for the rapper.

Just last week, Cardi performed for a Los Angeles crowd to announce “I ain’t going to jail.” “Press” offers an entirely different narrative, all of which can only prove Cardi B’s artistry beyond a reasonable doubt.

The video opens with Cardi B heavy making out with a girl.

@akacardiscrown / Twitter

Of course, everyone has an opinion on this–ranging from it being a stance against homophobia to queerbaiting. All we know is that she uses the makeout for her opening shot and, well, okay.

Next thing we know, Cardi B is casually smoking a cigarette when she pulls out a gun.

Cardi B / YouTube

After the make out session, the screen fades to black, then to a muscular man getting involved in the beginnings of a sex scene. The screen fades to black and we see Cardi looking like a chingona. Shots are fired. The screen fades to black.

We see crowds of Cardi B fans outside a courthouse with two black women acting as police officers.

Cardi B / YouTube

This video does an excellent job of illustrating a dystopian reality where women are in charge. Fans are having discussions about the undertone of experiencing police uniforms instill a credible sense of safety in the viewer.

Once again, Cardi B is a fashion icon.

Cardi B / YouTube

We see her get dragged into an interrogation room looking fly. Twitter user @BlasianMimi is worked up: “Cardi fucking ATE you hear me she did not come to play. The subliminal messages, the visuals, the fashion, the acting. Everything was perfect #PressMusicVideo”

Then, we see Cardi B completely naked with blood dripping down her arms.

@ebuzz33 / Twitter

This feels like a personal message to the women pressing charges against Cardi for allegedly throwing bottles at them.

“B****es in my business, they tryna plot (woo)
Hoes poppin’ sh** like they hot but they not (no)”

In Cardi B’s directorial debut, we get to see her vision come to life.

Cardi B / YouTube

That vision is an army of back up dancers and Cardi herself completely nude with their nipples and crotches blurred out–a recreation of Barbie dolls. In an Instagram post, Cardi thanks her team for making their crotches look “pleasant” because it was “really difficult” to make that happen in editing.

As she walks to court, she’s in all white from her hair to her eyebrows to her toes.

Cardi B / YouTube

That vision is all Cardi B. She says she was very specific about getting that look, and fans have so many opinions about it. White is a symbol of innocence, but whiteness in a courtroom is a metaphor for invincibility.

Her entire legal team is made up of young women, mostly women of color.

Cardi B / YouTube

Everyone is wearing the costume they’re meant to wear in the arena of life. Cardi B’s white outfit is meant to mean something to the judges.

But all the judges are old white men.

@CardiBCharts / Twitter

Sounds familiar right? One Twitter user was aghast, “14 white and old judges, wow.” Others retweeted that this was the U.S. Supreme Court in a nutshell.

There are white men everywhere screaming at Cardi B.

Cardi B / YouTube

In the trial, all the people transcribing are young black women. All the people in power are white men.

“Done with the talkin’, I’m open to violence
Ask anybody, they know I’m about it”

All the haters are white.

Cardi B / YouTube

The people giving testimony against Cardi B are white men and women alike. Cardi’s all-white outfit doesn’t “pass” for the power as white skin. Cardi is sentenced to prison.

To be clear… she’s committing violent crimes all over the place.

Cardi B / YouTube

We saw her shoot the gun during her threesome earlier on and now, her entire back up dance team are murdered on the ground. Everyone in the courtroom is bloodied, on the ground.

Cardi B is walked to her cell where she ends up drowning her cellmate in a toilet.

Cardi B / YouTube

Why did she drown her cellmate? Cardi shared on Instagram that she “really wanted to drown somebody in the toilet and kill them ‘cause that’s just such terrible way to die.”

Of course, the haters are out there, but the Latino Bardi Gang has her back.

@lilcubanbackup / Twitter

With over 3 million views in less than 7 hours and climbing, Cardi ‘s getting more press, whether she needs it or not. Congrats on your upcoming Emmy, girl.

You can watch the full music video below.

What do you think about Cardi B’s new music video?

READ: Cardi B May Be In Denial About Not Going To Jail After She Faces Felony Charges From A NYC Grand Jury

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Mare Advertencia Lirika’s Rap Game Is An Ode To Social Resistance

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Mare Advertencia Lirika’s Rap Game Is An Ode To Social Resistance

In Oaxaca, Mexico the hip-hop scene is dominated by men. Influenced by early ’90s American rap artists, most lyrics are misogynistic; a commonality in past and present wrap.

As a feminist uprising fuels the country, female rappers like Mare Advertencia Lirika utilize the depth hip-hop activism can have on social justice.

Growing up listening to banda, Lirika became exposed to American hip-hop when she was 12.

Although a fan, her language barrier impacted her resonance with the genre. After hearing Mexican rap groups like Caballeros de Plan G and Vieja Guardia, her spark for rap reignited.

“The history of rap is a mix of so many things that it gives room for anyone to fit into it,” she told Refinery29.

At 16, her rap career took off.

Under a machismo culture where women are often told ‘calladita te ves más bonita,’ Lirika defies outdated standards.

In her latest feminist anthem “Que Mujer,” she encourages women to rise up against patriarchal rhetorics.

With passion and prowess, her bona fide representation of class and gender struggles echo marginalized communities disenfranchised by systems of power.

Femicide rates in Mexico are rampant, having doubled in the last five years. On average 10 women are killed every day, but due to unreliable data and systematic impunity, many cases go under-investigated.

Oaxaca is a hot spot for violence, a reality Lirika knows too well. When she was five, her father was murdered resulting in the circumstantial feminist upbringing that fueled her vocality. Raised by her mother, grandmother and aunts, witnessing women take charge in making tough decisions helped to normalize her outspokenness.

Her feminist upbringing made her the strong woman she is today.

Identifying as Zapotec, an indigenous community native to Oaxaca, Lirika’s potent lyrics pay homage to her matriarchal upbringing and social resistance.

In “¿Y Tú Qué Esperas?” Lirika’s hearty alto sound shines as she asks that women speak and live their truth.

In songs like “Se Busca” she renders a poignant message demanding the return of those who have been kidnapped. Her visuals further amplify the severity of the issue as she raps, “cada persona que no está es un ausencia que no sana.”

Unafraid of confrontation, her cutthroat verses and poeticism are visceral.

Listening to her beats feel reminiscent of old-school rap, making it almost impossible to not nod along to her intellectual wit. Fusing the melodies of cumbias and reggae among others, she spits bars that sound the alarm of revolution.

But hostility towards women in the Oaxaca rap scene still lingers.

“Most people still think that women aren’t compatible with rap and think that we are wasting our time,” she told The New York Times in 2018. “We have to continue to show up at shows because it gives us confidence to see other women rap and to show people that we can also do this.”

Perhaps one of the best known Oaxaca rappers Lirika, 34, has established herself as a prominent figure in the genre. But her call to action is just beginning.

“My life context has taught me that I can use my voice,” she told Refinery29. “And maybe that’s a privilege of mine, one I shouldn’t have, but I trust very much what I have to say. I don’t fear what I have to say.”

READ: Latinas Talk About Learning Of The Heartbreaking Colonization Of Indigenous Land And The Genocide Of Its People

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Demi Lovato Recreates Her 2018 Drug Overdose In New Music Video For ‘Dancing With the Devil’

Entertainment

Demi Lovato Recreates Her 2018 Drug Overdose In New Music Video For ‘Dancing With the Devil’

Screenshot via YouTube

As you probably know, Demi Lovato has been in the news recently for discussing her trauma, addiction struggles, and 2018 overdose in her YouTube documentary series, “Dancing With the Devil”.

The YouTube series was named after a song of the same name that describes Demi’s spiral into addiction and subsequent brush with death.

“Dancing With the Devil” starts off with words that many addicts say to themselves: “It’s just a little red wine, I’ll be fine.” But by the second verse, Lovato is mentioning “white lines” and “glass pipes” (i.e. cocaine and crystal meth).

The confessional song continues: “I was dancing with the devil, out of control/Almost made it to Heaven, it was closer than you know/Playing with the enemy, gambling with my soul/It’s so hard to say no, when you’re dancing with the devil.”

In a powerful creative decision, Demi recreated her near-death 2018 heroine overdose in the music video for “Dancing With the Devil”.

The music video for “Dancing With the Devil” starts off with Demi Lovato in a hospital bed. Lovato’s blood is filtered through various tubes. The video then flashes to Demi drinking heavily in a bar. The outfit she wears is the same outfit that she wore the night of her overdose.

For viewer’s of Demi’s documentary series of the same name, the following scenes are all too familiar. We see a faceless drug dealer pass Lovato a bag of drugs. The next scene shows Demi passed out in bed while the drug dealer looks on. From the documentary, we know that the unnamed drug dealer sexually assaulted Lovato while she was heavily intoxicated. He then left her “for dead” as she was overdosing in her bed.

The video recreates Demi Lovato’s 2018 overdose with meticulous detail.

It’s obvious that Lovato and her team put a lot of thought into the staging of this video. Savvy viewers can see that Lovato hired look-alike actors to portray all the people that were around her that fateful 2018 day.

Although all of the actors remain faceless, it’s obvious who they’re meant to be. We see people that resemble her assistant, her mother, and her sister, throughout the video. All of these people were interviewed on-camera for her documentary series. At one point, we even see first-responders attempting to resuscitate Demi while she’s OD’ing in bed.

Demi Lovato took to Twitter to confess how difficult it was to shoot a video that hit so close to home.

“Creating the music video for #DancingWithTheDevil was not the easiest shoot I’ve ever done,” she wrote. “I create my art to heal, and to inspire others. I’m here today and I’m happy you are too.”

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