Thursday, February 10, 2011

Music Thursday: Banned BET videos edition

Since we're talking about black women and sexuality this week, Ciara's "Ride" came to mind. The song, featuring a sinuous vocal over a dirty, grinding beat sounds good at full blast in the car or on the dance floor. I often listen to it while vacuuming--makes cleaning seem sexier. But, as you may recall, controversy was sparked last year when BET refused to play the unedited "Ride" video, ostensibly because it is too sexually suggestive.

Now at the time of the kerfuffle I hadn't seen the video, but imagined it must be pretty XXX. I mean, BET has never been afraid of barely covered jiggling booties or songs about sex. Folks have been bumping and grinding on BET since K-Ci did his first body roll with accompanying "Oooooh, yeah!" And black women's sexuality has been continually exploited by male performers on the channel. So, I thought, Ciara must have lost her damned mind in "Ride."

And then--long after the controversy had cooled--I saw the video:

This is what made the BET powers that be clutch their pearls? A clothed performer dancing aggressively and singing about sexual prowess using double entendre?

Renina at New Model Minority said it well:
What does it mean that BET refuses to play Ride because they arguably find it too sexually suggestive?
Why is this video banned (or simply not being played) but the 5011 other rap videos with ubiquitous half nude, anonymous video vixens, and video extra’s get major rotation?
Here are some of the songs that you can vote for this week on
Bobby V. ft Plies “Phone #.”
Rick Ross “Aston Martin Music.”
Gucci Mane “Remember When.”
Is Black women’s sexuality being displayed on her own terms a threat that compels BET to react with censorship.
Wait till you See my Dick” is cool but Ride ain’t? I mean blood, the simulated orgy scene?
#ummhmm. #youain’tgottaLieCraig.
Sexual double standard?
It's enough to make you think the ghost of A. Philip Bruce is making decisions at BET--that a black woman owning her sexuality (rather than having it served up or conquered and controlled by black men) is a dangerous thing.


Lurker said...

Had Ciara donned a retro betty page pin-up, pickaboo, tame-burlesque outfit then there would be no controversy. The fact that she chose not to play dress up (beyonce-videophone) but rather don some hot pants and wife-beater and present a (sexual/sensual) form of herself speaks volumes... See where I'm headed? Also maybe had she humped/rode an inanimate object rather than a real man's (debatable since the man in question is JT) leg, then none of this would be up for discussion. Its okay for us to own our sexuality behind costumes and alternate egos (made known as a disclaimer for sexual behavior rather than affirmation and ownership of one's sexuality), but let us step out of the box...let us try too hard to be sexy because one can (beyonce/rihanna) but the other can't (ciara/keri). Double standards. Ridiculous. I loved the video and don't think it was as bad as Debra Lee and them made it out to be.

Aiyo said...

When I heard about this I was rolling my eyes. Really BET you ban Ciara's video which was in my opinion very tame compared to all the other music videos BET likes to show in the later time period. I mean 50 cent's disco inferno and Nelly's infamous Tip drill

I have to compare Ciara video with Rihanna's video which was popular at the time "Rude Boy" She was clothed pretty much, but the lyrics were way more straight to the point

I'mma give it to you harder
I'mma turn your body out..

Come here rude boy, boy
Can you get it up?
Come here rude boy, boy
Is you big enough?"

BET = stupid

Model Minority said...

Thank you for the laink Love.




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