The last Drake music video that legitimately caught my attention was “Hotline Bling.” Mostly because it was everywhere on social media and people made memes about it. (It’s also resurfacing as a reaction image recently.) But that seems to have changed after the release of the “Nice For What” MV.
Directed by Karena Evans, it’s a star-studded video featuring some of the powerful women in various fields. But instead of hypersexualizing the women, “Nice For What” empowers them and highlights their successes. Drake even took a backseat and was only shown—more like flashed—a few times.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest that you do. You can even play a game and name all the women in the video. Or just read this cheat sheet. We also made a quick rundown on how this video empowers women in general based on the portrayals on “Nice For What.” Feel free to join in the conversation in the comments section below!
Insecure star Issa Rae played a CEO in the music video wherein she had to tell white men to sit and stop arguing. This scene is not too far from Issa’s pre-Hollywood life as she used to work a corporate job and was usually the only black person. Likewise, her CEO role can be seen as a call for more female executives in the workplace, most especially black women.
The #girlboss theme is also seen when Tiffany Haddish (aka the woman who has the tea about Beyoncé’s biter) was shown smoking a cigar in a bathtub. She’s wearing a white dress and diamond jewelry while living her best life.
Refinery29 noted that “Nice For What” is a celebration of black women, especially those who’ve made a significant mark. Dancer Misty Copeland is the first black woman to become the principal dancer at American Ballet Theater. Another notable “first” is from model Jourdan Dunn, who was the first black woman to walk a Prada show back in 2008.
Young actress Yara Shahidi showed her dedication to her studies in the video. She was accepted in all four Ivy League schools and chose to study in Harvard this year. One of her recommendation letters was even authored by former First Lady Michelle Obama. She also starred in Black-ish and worked for Let Girls Learn while focusing on her education. Not to mention that she still has upcoming projects while she’s studying in Harvard. Yara is proof that you can achieve so much regardless of your age.
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross looked stunning in a silver dress and big curly hair. She also acted like she was belting a high note, just like her legendary mother Diana Ross. What’s great is that Tracee owned the diva persona and made it her own.
Best known for her badass roles, Zoe Saldana was given a role closest to her heart for “Nice For What”: a mother. She has three kids—twins and a newborn—who she plays with in the music video. This simply shows that motherhood is just as notable as the other achievements highlighted in “Nice For What.” You go, mommas!
Music producer Syd also made an appearance to represent the women in the LGBTQ+ community. She’s part of the soul-R&B band the Internet and they released an album named Ego Death in 2015. They were also nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album during the 2016 Grammys. So it’s safe to say that Drake and Karena covered all the bases when to represent all kinds of women in the video.
Photo courtesy of Rap-Up
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