Already amassing nearly 60 million views, the Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion collaboration “WAP” was easily the most anticipated release of the summer. For four days, Cardi B dropped hints about the song on her social media, teasing her fans with promo shots, a vinyl release, and even a small trailer that previewed the first few seconds of the song. Finally, on the 7th of August, fans were put out of their misery. Since then, it has been a constant talking point on all social media platforms.
For some, it was a controversial song. But, for many, it became an anthem of embracing female sexuality. The music video itself has been a phenomenal success. From fashion to glam to an abundance of cameos, it checks all the boxes, and the message of empowerment that comes with it has been not only accepted online but welcomed with open arms. In a world that seems to be dominated by bad news and tragedy, fans welcomed the moment that was given to celebrate women, and to show them that they don’t have to feel ashamed about their sexuality. Cardi B also wanted to use the music video to uplift other artists, giving them a platform. “I feel like people be wanting to put female artists against each other,” she said on the New Music Daily show on Apple Music. Instead of allowing the media to create feuds between female artists, Cardi B created an environment where every woman coming into the video gets her moment to shine.
The music video is set inside a mansion, each room different from the last. Throughout the song, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are seen perusing the hallway, peering into the different rooms wearing one-piece suits designed by Nicholas Jebran. These outfits- adorned with matching, long-sleeved opera gloves, are a nod to the movie B.A.P.S(1997). From the beginning, there’s a subtle pattern of animal images that run through it. From a room with tigers to snakes, it is a constant in the video that ties it all together.
Cardi B- WAP feat. Megan Thee Stallion Official Music Video
The cameos kick off with Kylie Jenner, strutting down a hallway alone, in a look custom made for her by Rey Ortiz. She takes centre stage in her leopard-print bodysuit- with thigh-high boots and a train that follows her as she holds her head high, looking purely regal. Some fans were confused about her presence as she doesn’t actually sing or dance, but it’s clear to me that she’s setting the tone of the video: powerful women that Cardi B personally admires. The last sixty seconds are dominated by videos of female artists dancing in their own rooms, the aesthetic designed to match who they are. “These are the girls that I personally like,” Cardi B said in the same interview, “That I like their music. That I feel like they’re going to go mainstream.” Despite having told us that there will be cameos in the video, who would be in it had remained a total surprise until the video was released three days ago.
Normani and Rosalia seem to get the most screen-time during this part of the video. Normani can be seen in a houndstooth two-piece set and knee-high gladiator heels, an overcoat with a matching print resting on her shoulders. Around her, the room follows the same monochromatic style. The outfit- designed by Azzedine Alaia- may be a homage to Naomi Campbell, who modelled similar look for Alaia’s 1991 collection. A throwback to yet another prominent woman in an artistic area.
On the other hand, Rosalia is positively vibrant. She is clad from head-to-toe in red latex. Her hair- styled into a myriad of braids- are twisted around her head like a crown. She stands in a room that mimics the colour of her bodysuit. From the ceiling, a golden chandelier hangs, giving the room a lavish feel to it.
After that, we see Mulatto, Rubi Rose, and Sukihana gave their own time, too. And it becomes a portion of the video where Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are shown praising them, excitedly watching these women that they personally admire showing off their skill and talent to the world.
Cardi B was right- there is too much of a divide between women in this world. With some media outlets often putting female artists against one another through comparisons or even fandoms online creating feuds, the world can feel like a very lonely place for powerful women. But the “WAP” music video perfectly presents what the world can be like if women lift each other up and share their platform. When women work together and elevate one another, beautiful moments like the ones in this video can be created anywhere. Words by Abigail Forrest
Graphics by Georgia Walters