I don't feel well at all this morning. I haven't written about music yet and I thought what better genre of music to write a positive post but rap/hip-hop artist Shad. Once I found this great song and beautiful video directed by Sara Brown, I had to dig deeper. One of the first things I came across was this great music blog, Potholes In My Blog. I also found this article where Shad is interviewed after beating out Drake for a Juno award.
Women get a bad rap (pun intended) in these genres, the majority of commentary is on videos or songs where men are degrading, sexualizing, and objectifying women. But that is not what all rap and hip-hop music is about. The lyrics to Keep Shining say so much and are straightforwardly praising women and sending the message for the women to "keep shining." The director Brown said,
"To me, the "Keep Shining" video is an ode to the strong and often under-appreciated spirits of women. This video was designed as a candid and thought/emotion-provoking concept. My goals were to create a candid and uplifting experience that featured a wide diversity of women and girls and to also unearth what I felt lay beneath the lyrics: A call to claim one's voice. Early on, I realized a key to this concept: Shad barely appears in the video. The ladies own the lyrics. For me, it's as if Shad is saying "take it, own it, your voice belongs to you." It was my intention to show strength, vulnerability, joy, catharsis and reclamation of the spirit of all those who appeared in these 3 minutes and 44 seconds. My hope is that it will speak to women, girls, men and boys and everything in between. Let's all "Keep Shining"."
Who doesn't love a man who writes a song telling women to own their voice?! With the onslaught of images and messages women and men receive of women as nothing more than objects, it's an important message for everyone to see women, a diverse group of women, as people.
Shad "Keep Shining"
What are some of your favorite feminist songs? Comments below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org