On Syd the Kid’s “Cocaine” Video

I have contended that in a world premised on oppressing women, openly Loving a woman is probably one of the most radical things you can do.

The homie @danyeezy, just put me on to the new Syd the Kid video. Syd is the only woman member of OFWGKTA . @Danyeezy reblogged a link to Syd’s video “Cocaine” from the blog Life is Fair Game.

I watch videos with the sound on and with the sound off because it helps me to focus on the images.

I also teach my students do so because a music video combine text with images, which makes them very powerful.

The song, the instrumentation of it is hot. Sounds like Pharell with…I don’t know a funky Fiona Apple.

I also enjoyed the non-normative gender presentations of Black girls IN A MUSIC VIDEO.

Queer Black girls are not featured in music videos.

However, as I listened to the song, I thought, is she saying “I wanna, I wanna, Do you wanna do some Cocaine?”

Why yes, she is.

I get it, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.Historically young people in general and young artist in particular have said and done outlandish things to stand out and rebel against their elders.

However, bodies have histories, and Black girl’s bodies certainly have histories.

Which brings me to a point.

In order to see masculine and feminine identified young Black women in a music video, the narrative is going to pivot on them “doing cocaine” together?

Given the history of both crack and cocaine in Black communities throughout the US historically, is “doing coke” something to sing playfully about?

Is this cost of entry to high of a price to pay? In other words, if the trade-off for having queer young women of color being represented in pop culture is the that they are performing “do you want to do some cocaine” and talking about “slapping bitches” is it worth it?

Is the trade off for being vulnerable and willing enough to grab a woman’s hand in a video that you to also be willing to say that you like “slapping bitches”, is that too high of a price to pay to BE visible in the first place?

Perhaps it is easier to talk about slapping “Bitches” than it is to be vulnerable. ~#allcity

On whose terms should Black girls be represented? And why?


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  1. says


    This is a beautifully shot video; the lighting and composition of each frame is crisp and gorgeous. But what is it in service of, really? On the one hand, I think it’s cool that it’s depicting queer women doing regular stuff—meeting at a carnival, holding hands, kissing—but the song itself and the ending are just…disturbing to say the least.

    Maybe this is me being too old to “get” this whole Odd Future thing, maybe I’m a prude, but I’m wondering why we can’t see a video like this without it being about snorting coke and popping pills and showing someone ODing and being left on the side of the road.

    And a big part of the problem with stuff like this is how seductive it all looks. And a lot of time, people with more talent and more diverse messages don’t create compelling visuals and get tossed aside, while stuff like this makes it because their team has a better understanding of images. I hope I’m making sense.

  2. Renina says

    It DOES look seductive. And this is why I took the time to respond. I couldn’t just let it ride.