The latest single from Cardi B, “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, premiered on YouTube on August 7, and it has been making headlines for its sexually-charged music video and cameo from popular media personality Kylie Jenner.
“WAP”, which stands for “wet-ass pussy” has amassed more than 74 million views on YouTube so far and is on track for the highest new chart entry in the UK. The censored video alters the lyrics, substituting with the less-explicit “wet and gushy.”
The music video features artists Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion rapping explicitly about sex while dancing suggestively in a luxurious mansion. The scene opens with one long tracking shot through an ornate gate and into an elaborate courtyard. The song kicks off with a heavy bass line accompanying a sample of DJ Frank Ski’s 1992 club release featuring Al “T” McLaran singing, “There’s some whores in this house.”
The artists have said they aim to empower women to be more open about expressing their sexuality. The song has divided audiences – some call it a testament to female sexual liberation and empowerment, while others, including several Republican and other conservative political figures, describe the video as “disgusting and vile.”
“WAP” has been well received by several celebrities, including singer Christina Aguilera and actor Viola Davis, but slammed by others like singer CeeLo Green.
The positive feedback from many fans and celebrities outweighs the criticism the artists have received regarding the song’s sexual content, however the sheer outrage some have expressed suggests that society still struggles with accepting female sexuality – and in particular, that of sexually confident women of color.
Popular adult website Pornhub revealed that searches for both Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have spiked by 235% and 210% respectively, while Kylie Jenner’s brief cameo resulted in a 130% spike in related searches since the release of the music video.
Surprisingly, the video has not just sparked controversy for its explicit content. The video has several celebrity cameos, including breakout stars like Normani and Rosalía and up-and-comers like Mulatto, Sukihana, and Rubi Rose. Among the various cameos is the famous Kardashian sister, Kylie Jenner, who appears for about 30 seconds in the video, walking down a hall and opening a door while wearing a leopard cutout bodysuit. The brief appearance was enough to have many viewers turned off by the music video.
The matter stirred up so much discussion that there’s now a Change.org petition to have Kylie Jenner removed from the music video which has collected more than 69,000 signatures. Fans argue that Kylie Jenner’s surprise appearance detracted from the supposed message of Black female empowerment, as she is the only white person in the entire video.
Cardi B addressed the criticism on Twitter in several since deleted tweets. She made it clear that Kylie was included in the video because “she treated my sister and daughter so lovely at her kid bday party.” Celebrity news account PopCrave tweeted out screenshots of Cardi B responding to the criticism.
Since the music video’s success, Cardi B has promised fans that more songs like “WAP” will be on her upcoming album and teased that while the album will have fun songs like “WAP,” it will also include songs about her personal relationships with her husband, Migos rapper Offset, and her two-year-old daughter, Kulture.
Speaking to Elle magazine about her new single and upcoming album, the 27-year-old artist said, “I do know that my relationship has a lot of drama and everything. But there’s a lot of love there’s a lot of passion, there’s a lot of trust, there’s a big friendship. It’s always us against the world. If you all are so curious to know about my relationship and blah, blah, blah, I’m going to put it in the f**kin’ music, and you can buy it, too. I’m not going to give it to you all for free.”
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