Keri Hilson recently gave us an anthem every beautiful woman could bop her head to with the sweet “Pretty Girl Rock.” But as she gears up for this month’s release of her sophomore album “No Boys Allowed,” it isn’t just her songwriting that has the blogosphere abuzz. It’s her uber-sexual video for her latest single, “The Way You Love Me.” After watching the video I was utterly floored. It’s not that I’m a prude who hadn’t been exposed to a great deal of sexually provocative content in music. But I never expected it from Ms. Keri. In the video, featuring Rick Ross and a cameo by Faith Evans, the same classy woman who delivered a classic like “Knock Me Down” (from her debut album “In a Perfect World”) is now in black leather underwear, gyrating, humping the floor and sticking her tongue out. The lyrics accompanying her provocative moves are equally suggestive and explicit. At one point she sings, “I got that kind of p*ssy that will keep you off the streets.” As a fan of Hilson’s music (I bumped “In a Perfect World” on repeat for months), I was disappointed in her new over-the-top image of selling sex. For me, Hilson always represented the classy, strong-minded, hard-working Black women who dreamed big, remained steadfast and succeeded on their own terms. She always let her talent speak for itself. Now it seems like she’s trying too hard to be something her fans never asked her to be. I’m all for an artist evolving over time, but this video and her new sound didn’t sound like growth. It seemed like an attempt to sell more records, but at the stake of her image. I don’t want Hilson to feel like she has to wear bikini underwear in a video or drop the f-bomb (which she does repeatedly), for people to buy her music. The men she is appealing to in this video are not her fan base, which is primarily Black women. And from the chatter surrounding the video, we’re not feeling what it represents. There’s a fine line between being sexy and selling sex. Hopefully, she will take it as a lesson learned and realize we liked the “Slow Dance” Ms. Hilson just fine. Bene Viera writes about relationships and culture on her blog, Writing While Black. What do you think of Keri’s new video?
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!