26 Jan 2019 Black Girl Anthem: On Life Lessons From Cardi B’s Money Video
You probably thinking, first of all sis, that video dropped almost 2 weeks ago. You been owed us a post. I needed to sit with it. You can’t rush the process. It ain’t about being the first to talk about something even if everybody already talking about it. Remember what I said, you can do what’s been done. Just do it better. That said, let’s get into this piece.
By now it’s no secret that my play cousin is the perpetual wig snatcher. That’s how we roll in my family. Only to be outdone by herself (or Beyonce. But only Beyonce), Belcalis Almanzar decided she was dropping the 2019 anthem before the new year rolled in when she graced us with Moneyin late December. And while the song came out a minute ago, it wasn’t until she laid the video on us that folks really understood exactly what Money was telling us. I think folks missed it only because the message was so obvious. Thing is, folks thought Cardi was talking to everybody when she dropped Money. Whole time, she was really talking to Black women. I swear fo’ lawd you can save yourself some time and energy if you even think I’m bout to argue with you about whether Cardi B is Black. M’kay? I digress.
Y’all know how we do Behind the Veil so without further ado, here are the life lessons from 2019’s Black girl anthem, Money.
Black is beautiful.
Every shade. All of them. So Beautiful. Just melanin dripping. Gaht damn y’all fine. Cardi has most certainly been involved in the colorism conversation in our community and faced significant backlash when comments she made appeared to be directed only at dark skin sisters. I think she was certainly thinking about that conversation when they cast for the video because she made sure to represent sisters of various skin tones with one badass dark skinned sister stealing the whole damn show with Black girl magic, gun and garters. Like damn sis, just send everybody else home.
We getting bags in 2019
Last year was all about building self. We focused on nurturing relationships, healing trauma, navigating emotions, self-care and finding our true passions. Cool. Now it’s time to get a little cash. Get paid for those same passions. Thing is, folks have long tried to make us feel bad about wanting money, awards, accolades and recognition for the work we do. My vision board this year was so focused on business and recognition for the work I do that I took a second look and wondered if it was selfish of me. Folks will make us believe that Black women are just supposed to be all about the community. For free. Sheeit. Everybody else getting paid for the work they do. Why shouldn’t we? Stop letting folks convince you that your labor is only meant to serve the people. Serve yourself. We need cheese for our eggs. Even if the egg is rent money/car note/new shoes/Sephora.
Tune out the noise
The video has a beautiful scene of my baby cousin sitting at a piano. The music stops and the camera pulls in on a serene Cardi B, hair blowing in the wind in the most peaceful setting. It’s one of my favorite scenes. At some point she is wearing headphones to further reinforce the idea of shutting out the noise and choosing what you listen to. It reminds me that I am often at my best when I do just that. Shut out the noise. Sometimes that noise is social media. Sometimes it’s that romantic partner you should have been done dealing with (no judgment sis), sometimes it’s that voice in your head that doubts you. Silence it. And sit with your talent. You know what she also doing as she tune out the noise? She getting her bag because the headphones are a whole damn ad. #Money
Biiihhh you are every woman
At least you’re every one you choose to be. And only the ones you choose to be. Maybe a stripper, a rapper or singer (you ain’t a real Cardi fan if you can’t cite that). Cardi showed us so many of the women she chooses to be – the mother, the rapper, the stripper, the boss. All of them. Sis breast fed her baby and then gave us a taste of her stripper days. In the same damn video. Time out for us having to choose between identities. Just because you’re a mom don’t mean you can’t be sexy. Just because you getting that bag don’t mean you can’t be having fun. And you ain’t got to kill the women you used to be. You certainly don’t have to shame them.
Cite a sister
Baby…Cardi was here for paying homage to the sisters who paved the way. We saw nods to Lil’Kim, Beyonce, Rihanna and Aaliyah. She made it clear that she ain’t created nothing in a vacuum and acknowledging that doesn’t in any way dim your shine sis. Don’t be out here like a certain other rapper acting like you ain’t been inspired by other Black women. That’s just tired. We left that mentality in 2018.
Pop out a titty
Ain’t nothing wrong with your nipples, or your body – Instagram lied to you. The culture of body shame lied to you. And even if you don’t literally pop out a titty on Instagram (you will likely get blocked, don’t be coming for me if you do), what you ain’t got to do is be ashamed of your body. Because contrary to what these social media sites tell us, ain’t nothing wrong with you or your nipples. Also note that Youtube and every other channel had no problem airing the nipples in Cardi’s video. I guess Money talks. But for damn sure pop out a titty if you need to feed your child. Because anyone sexualizing that is the one with the problem.
We Black. So Black. And we don’t care how others attempt to define that for us. We will not be crushed into other’s fantasies of us (Lorde) or the nightmares they wish us to live. Folks will have something to say about your Blackness about the way you live it, perform it, embrace it, navigate it, revel in it…fuck’em. Drop a Wakanda Forever on them and keep it moving.