The following clip comes from the Black Tree TV production that drew from a 2007 BET special that explored a number of issues surrounding the intersections between rap and hip hop, African American culture, and the broader American society. This section focuses on how black culture is presented to white culture in and through hip hop culture. Contributors bring to the table a number of interesting arguments, but they all agree that interpreting black culture only through hip hop is inaccurate and problematic.
This clip comes again from the Black Tree TV/BET special that was produced in 2007. It expands upon the discussion of the exploitation of women in music videos to explore some of the social structural foundations upon which this exploitation is built. It features a lively debate between academics, critics, and rappers like Nelly and TI.
The following clip comes from a Black Tree TV production. It drew from a 2007 BET special that explored a number of issues surrounding the intersections between rap and hip hop, African American culture, and the broader American society. This clip focuses on the “video girls” of hip hop culture, and the controversies surrounding the use of black females in hip hop videos. With voices from rappers, video models, academics and others, this conversation is a nuanced look at the complicated state of black in femininity as illustrated through hip hop culture.
This is the 2005 music video for "I Am Not My Hair," by singer India Arie. It is a remix featuring singer Akon, and is the official single for the song. In the song, Arie and singer Akon describe various hairstyles they have had throughout their lives and how those styles have impacted how others reacted to them. After a lifetime of being evaluated based on her hair, Arie decides that she is not her hair, that's "it's not what's on your head, it's what's underneath." She calls for others to share in this sentiment. According to Arie, the song was originally imagined as a duet featuring singer Pink and inspired by Pink's decision to stop dying her hair. Arie has also described being inspired to write the final verse after seeing singer Melissa Etheridge perform on the Grammy Awards with her head bald from chemotherapy cancer treatments.
This music video from mega-popstar Jennifer Lopez was released in 1999 as a Billboard Top 100 single off her debut album. The video begins with shots of a lush jungle setting followed by images of a distant city. Lopez and her girlfriends seem to float between these two worlds. The video portrays Lopez as an "everygirl" preparing for a big night out to celebrate the new millenium. The video intersperses cuts of Lopez primping and scrutinizing herself in the mirror with scenes of her dancing in the jungle setting. The lines between the jungle and the nightclub are clearly blurred, with Lopez and her friends occupying both spaces. The lyrics describe how she's been waiting for so long for a chance to be with her crush and how she hopes that the chance to be with him tonight will end "the days when the sun used to set/ On my empty heart all alone in my bed." As the song climaxes, Lopez emerges soaking-wet from a pool of water.