American indie pop sensation, Chester French, consists of David-Andrew ‘D.A.’ Wallach and Maxwell Drummey. Both band members are Harvard educated white men, and in April released a titillating video to accompany their controversial single, ‘Black Girls’. The band open the song with the following lyrical disclaimer: ‘This ain’t no fetish, ain’t objectifying no one / I reject your deconstruction of my taste’.
The video itself, directed by renowned Italian photographer Francesco Carrozzini, is shot entirely in black and white (bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?). The stars of the show are a white woman, Rie Rasmussen, who professes her adoration and lust towards a black woman, Jodie Smith. Then, the two women ‘enjoy one another’s company’ – that’s a euphemism for ‘don’t watch this video at work’, or with anyone you share DNA with for that matter.
Carrozzini has stated that ‘The video’s purpose is to celebrate female beauty, pointing the attention on same sex and interracial love’. In spite of Carrozzini’s explanation, the intentions of the song appear confusing; although the video contains the supposed shock factor of interracial lesbianism, it is still a video of interracial lesbian sex created by white men.
D.A. Wallach, lead singer, who majored in African-American Studies goes on to sing: ‘Well I have tried to taste the rainbow in my life / I’ve sampled many different flavours I enjoy’. Critics have been keen to point out the duality of the song’s celebration and objectification of black women.
In the words of Jamilah Lemieux, News and Lifestyle Editor for EBONY.com, ‘I don’t think too many sisters will be adding ‘Black Girls’ to their iTunes playlists…but I don’t think the song was really recorded for us in the first place.’