Cardi B, City Girls And What I Took Away From 'Twerk'

Act like you know.

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| January 20 2019,

9:55 pm

Cardi B and one half of City Girls released the video for their bop “Twerk,” and it was one hell of a victory lap for Black women.

After I was done p***y poppin’ in my chair, a wave of pride washed over me. “Twerk” felt like a homecoming for Black feminism. We’ve spent the past few years watching our sacred art form get commercialized and bastardized by Beckies with too much entitlement and not enough rhythm (or ass). Meanwhile, Black women have been scorned whenever we decide to show ’em how it should be done. But the reality is we were whistling while we twerked long before Miley Cyrus’ daddy was whining about his "achy breaky heart."

When the City Girls burst on the scene, I was hopeful. Their sound reminded me of the type of rap you might have heard at Freaknik (R.I.P.) back in the ’90s. Yung Miami and JT piqued my interest, and I became a casual listener. After all, they pissed off the ashies and the hoteps, so they must be doing something right.

When I heard “Twerk,” I knew they were on to something—then they dropped the video. While working on some writing, I took a mini-break to watch it. By the end of the video, I was out of breath. The video wasn’t the most creative piece in the world, but it was still perfect because it captured the essence of twerking: ass, carefree Black women, and a muhfuckin’ party.

I didn’t need a plot or fancy special effects. Even better, there wasn’t a man in sight. The bouncing asses were the main event rather than an accessory fora fully clothed man. The women were twerking because they felt like it.  

In addition to giving us a bangin’ visual, Yung Miami and Cardi reclaimed their past from their critics.

Yung Miami was dragged to hell and back when she said “flewed out.” Instead of shrinking from her grammatical error, “Twerk” viewers were treated to the soothing voice of a pilot from Flewed Out Airlines.

When Cardi rapped, “I don’t dance now, I make money moves,” many assumed she was ashamed of her stripper past. She put that idea to bed with her “Money” music video, and tucked it in by swinging around another pole in “Twerk.” Becalis is understandably proud of her glow up, but she isn’t afraid to pay homage to "Cardi with the braids."

Another highlight was an excerpt from a news segment in which a journalist deemed twerking a “sexual and inappropriate” dance. This addition proved City Girls and Cardi weren’t ignorant to how they were perceived—they just don’t give a d**n.

It shows they live by their own type of feminism. I haven’t heard Yung Miami or JT speak on feminism, but Cardi embraced the title and challenged her naysayers.

“Being a feminist is such a great thing and some people feel like someone like me can’t be as great as that," she told i-D magazine last February. "But then some people are smart but they don’t have no common sense. They think feminism is great and only a woman that can speak properly, that has a degree, who is a boss, a businessperson… they think only Michelle Obama can be a feminist."

YouTube | Maleke Glee

“Twerk” is the embodiment of her hood feminism philosophy.

Before y’all jump in the comments to snatch my wig, I know Yung Miami and Cardi have made f**ked up comments before, but I’m willing to give them some grace because no one was born with a bell hooks book tucked under their arm. I still don’t have all the answers my d**n self, so it’s unfair of me to have place those expectations on them.

Hopefully, they take the time to grow and learn from their mistakes. In the meantime, I’m gonna practice lighting a blunt while bouncing my ass.



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