April 18, 2014
I Blame Myself
I like Sky Ferreira for what she does, which is attempt to be a Bushwick Madonna. I dug her record Everything Is Embarrassing and the fact that she got busted for dope. Little did I know that she would turn the title of her record into a commentary on her latest video. The video in question, “I Blame Myself,” features the singer prancing around what looks like South Central LA, assuming the role of a street gang chieftain of sorts who gives advice to her homey, steps to rivals, and gets arrested by the cops, not before dancing all over the interrogation. Her shirt apparently comes off too but that’s not until the end. It’s an early 90’s west coast hip-hop tribute style video, I think. One thing I am certain of is that it’s touched a cultural nerve.
Is the video racist? People are saying it is. People are saying she uses the black men and the ghetto as props and that it exploits the culture. I’ve watched it 3 times now and I think I can empathize, with both sides. She fucked up. Not with the concept; the basic idea for the video is awesome. It actually elicited great feelings of envy when I first read about it as I once had the idea to make a video just like Snoop Dog’s “Gin & Juice” where I could wear a Springfield Indians hockey jersey and ride on the handlebars of a bike just like him, but I digress. She fucked up with the execution. Where this could have been her chance to give props to that influential and unique era of hip-hop, she instead chose to soak up all the camera time and treat the environment she was in as her canvas. Like an ugly American in a foreign country loudly taking pictures of all the natives. It comes off as self-indulgent and insensitive. The places that she’s dancing around are real places with real fucked up problems and instead of even attempting to tread lightly she just dances carefree in front of a wall graffitied with the name of an on-line fashion label. Fuck that.
What I see when I see this video is a white girl trying to be edgy. I see a young artist attempting to make an interesting video but failing due to a collective massive ignorance. She should blame herself for this bullshit but while she’s at it, blame her people too. Let’s remember that it obviously wasn’t her who came up with the idea in the first place, it was writer and director Grant Singer. She just acted in what turns out to be basically a long commercial for clothes. When you view the video, look directly underneath at the link that says “shop the look” and if you click that it brings you to a webpage where you can spend $3200 on the jacket she wore in it. It’s getting tons of press though. And you know what they say about that.
That’s basically what it’s come down to. How long, oh Lord, how long?
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