The great thing about making art of any kind is it's usually a reflection of the artist or the world that the artist lives in. As a woman in a male dominated field - not just film and video production, but also the hip-hop realm- I often find myself confronted with the inevitable double standard that women in these kinds of fields face. It is glaringly obvious that often times how a woman handles her sexuality can directly influence her worth professionally. If we embrace our sexuality we are seen as slutty or less deserving of respect, and this growing issue has been the central focus of many feminist and human rights organizations as of late. Amber Rose - an exotic dancer from Philly turned women's rights activist- recently lead a large protest in Los Angeles against "slut shaming" and the condemning of women who embrace and are open about their sexuality.
So it is in this time in the history of woman (and man) that YSKSK Media released our second video for DJ Diamond Kuts featuring rappers CRMC and Sissy Nobby for a song called "Dribble." Diamond Kuts is a Hip-Hop DJ and producer and like me has spent her much of her career in a field dominated by men. The song is a upbeat banger that encourages us all to shake our asses, and could make even the shyest chick in the club "make that booty dribble." The concept was simple we get a lot of bad bitches, some girls who can twerk, and put them on a basketball court for a rowdy basketball game celebrating everyone's butts. What started out for me as a simple twerk video resulted, however, in one of the most empowering experiences I've ever encountered as a female in the "industry."
I had never been on set where the women outnumbered men. Between the dancer's, the models, Diamond, and an older woman comedian who played Diamond's rival coach, all the women involved were different ages, came from different places, and had different talents. Mass media has brainwashed us to believe that this many bitches and a camera could only have disastrous results (think Love and Hip Hop, and Bad Girls Club), but the reality is that everyone got together, came up with suggestions, and worked tirelessly to make the video the best it could be.* It quickly became obvious that because I’ve always been a nerd in life that I couldn’t coach a game of basketball for shit. One of the twerkers told me that when she’s not dancing her other job is coaching a high school girl’s volleyball team. We quickly bonded and she helped coach the girls and set up the basketball shots… only pausing to jump into character and shake her ass. After spending time with all these women, and working so closely with them, it became unfathomable to me- or anyone else on set that day- to ever judge a woman’s worth based on her career path or how she presents herself to the world. Though the song features male artists and talks about male sexual desires, because of the creative process surrounding the making of the video, the project became about females enjoying their sexualtiy in an environment that celebrates it rather than making it taboo and dirty.
At the end of the day a woman's sexuality is her own, so as female artists from all genres we need to continue to encourage and work with other females rather than letting male artists speak about us... Or even worse for us. To be clear, I'm not saying men should stop making work about women however there should be more women making art about women's sexuality. I hope this video encourages all women regardless of their age, race, or career path to be unintimidated by society's double standard of what a "respectable" woman is because being a respectable woman is about doing whatever the fuck you wanna do to make you happy. And if shaking your ass makes you happy and feel sexually empowered then make that booty dribble shortyyyyy and me and my girls will be right by your side.
* I would just like to especially thank Yinka Soda my co director and the director of photography, True, CRMC, The Born Leaders, Sewell Wells, and all the other men who worked on this project. You were an integral part of making this project as successful as it was. The respectful creative environment was also made possible by you. Thank you!