I remember seeing, the other day on Black People Twitter, where a buncha people were talking about the new Keri Hilson video, “The Way That You Love Me,” but I didn’t bother to have a look, because she has a rather severe pancake face, and for whatever reason, that shit really bothers me.
There’s something about it that just seems painful to me. Like, in order to get their faces so flat like that, someone had to press them face first into a rock. I know African people do weird shit like that (African people, don’t try to front, I saw that shit in a book), because I remember seeing it in, I think, a library book when I was a kid, and it completely grossed me out – much more so than the bone in the nose, and the plate in the lip, which just seem like pointlessly painfully but ultimately not particularly transformative body decorations, not unlike tongue rings, ear gauges and various other BS you find on the kind of emo chicks who are most likely to go down on you, here in the US.
Still, I recognize that this is something that’s just my own personal problem – just like I’m sure there’s a lot of things that I enjoy that I’m sure a lot of people would find odd, if not disgusting. Not like scat, or bondage, or anything like that, which really is disgusting, and you should feel bad if any of it interests you. But in the past few years, I’ve come to really appreciate things like latex, and fishnets, and heels, and certain kinds of contact lenses, so on and so forth, even more so than most people. But not at a level where I collect them or anything.
Judge not lest thou be judged, or whatever it says in the Bible.
Anyway, I saw yesterday where this site was running a feature on the top 14 crotch shots in the “The Way That You Love Me” video, and I was like, tha fuck? Of course I was gonna have to have a look, if only for research purposes. So I did, and I was taken aback. This new Keri Hilson video is some of the saddest shit I’ve ever seen in my life, in the sense that it leaves you feeling genuinely verklempt and less optimistic about the fate of humanity (if that’s possible). And you can probably guess that I’ve seen my share of disturbing images on the Internets. It’s not just that the video for “The Way That You Love Me” is vulgar, which it most certainly is (for whatever reason, it feels more vulgar than one of those WSHH cam hoo-er videos, which – hopefully – has actual nudity), it’s that it’s vulgar in a way that seems very desperate and unimaginative. Which is ironic, because I’d been under the impression that Keri Hilson’s background was in songwriting, and you’d think that as a writer she could at least come up with an artistic way to present herself as a slore.
And then there’s the fact that the video is so weird. I’ve never done so many doubletakes in my life, at the very beginning, when they were introducing Keri Hilson’s gang. They had some chick named JoJo playing a character named Boots, and I thought to myself, “Hey, just like the mid ’00s-era child pop singer JoJo!” Then I took another look, and come to find out it really was the mid ’00s-era child pop singer JoJo. Um, why? The last I heard from her, it was back when it was rumored that the STL’s own J-Kwon had dropped a load on her. Then he passed her off to Lil Bow Wow. Er, I could have the order reversed. (Bow Wow first would make more sense, given his status back in those days.) I remember I got a lot of angry email from JoJo’s young fans insisting none of this happened. but the fact that she popped up half a decade later as the lone white person in the world’s most unfortunate R&B video (at least since “It’s So Cold in the D”) suggests to me that it did. She must surround herself with mostly black people now. How old is she, anyway? I wouldn’t mind pressing my face into her weird, chubby, barely developed cleavage. (Provided she’s 18, natch. If not, I obviously meant that as a joke.)
Then next, up pops Faith Evans, looking more like Queen Latifah than ever. And I don’t even necessarily mean that in the sense that she’s gotten fat, because she was never quite thin, even by black men’s (lack of) standards, but in the sense that for a second there I thought she was Queen Latifah. She has a similar voice, and she’s got that same sassy demeanor, which might be the least attractive quality possible in a woman. But never mind how she looks. Why is she there? It’s not like she’s had much of a career since she got caught doing crack around Biggie’s kids, which might actually predate JoJo’s career. How was she even contacted? The white pages? She must be a good 10 years older than Keri Hilson, who might have just as many years on JoJo. What a fucking odd couple! If you look closely, you can also spot Polow Da Don, who must have made a mistake similar to the one I made back in the ’90s, taking creatine without being on a workout regimen (aside from my Saturday night workout [||]), and Lloyd, who’s just plain funny-looking. There might be even more once semi-famous black people in this video, but it’s hard to say. You guys know I’m not that in touch with my culture.