Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bona drag

Female masculinity in hip-hop alert: as noted by Bex, "Like a Boy" is not the only recent video to include scenes of a normally high femme ladydiva sharing the screen with a digitally superimposed image of herself in boy drag. Beyoncé does it in "Upgrade You," too, though she's a bit less ferocious about it--she stops short of anything too overtly kingly and just wears baggy jeans and trainers with a white dress shirt and swept-back hair. Still, her Jay-Z impression is a thing to behold (cocked head! toothpick! lip curl!), and all the more interesting for the fact that towards the end of the video she literally transforms into him before our eyes. Whether this is more about gender fluidity or the perils of spending too much time with yr boyfriend, I dunno. Watch especially 2:33-3:25. The morph happens at about 2:99.

When you cross-reference Ciara and Beyoncé with this weekend's Village Voice cover on the AG subculture/community in Brooklyn (photogallery is too adorable for words), you get a far more sophisticated acknowledgement of the intersections of race and gender than the mainstream is usually willing to offer.

P.S. Re: non-draggy, jewelry-in-lipsticked-mouth, woman-as-commodity parts of "Upgrade You": I forgive and enjoy them, as I have decided they are camp and satirical. Yes. Anything that aspires to be a live-action recreation of Scrooge McDuck swimming through his safe deposit treasure room counts as satirical in my book.

1 comment:

smelly mcsmellsmell said...

my favorite part about "upgrade" because it is so Rong, is when she says,"i'm going to do for you what martin did for the people."