The music video for WAP, Cardi’s first collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion, has been at the top of YouTube’s trending page since its release yesterday, August 7, with fans of the two rappers eager to see the pair in action together.
However, the video has also been trending on social media for slightly different reasons; it seems many fans are disgruntled at the appearance of 22-year-old Jenner.
If you skip to one minute and 40 seconds into the video, you’ll notice the music stops to focus on a woman clad in animal print, walking down a hallway. That woman is quickly revealed to be Jenner.
For around 20 seconds, the track stops and the camera focuses solely on the beauty mogul, before the song resumes and the camera cuts back to Cardi and Megan in other variants of animal print.
Many fans took offence to Jenner’s cameo in the music video and were quick to express this online, particularly with regards to her and her family’s history of appropriating Black culture and the implications of Black celebrities accepting cultural appropriators.
Someone hated her appearance so much they have already edited her entire cameo out of the video:
The general feeling among fans was that she should never have appeared in the video in the first place, with a petition eventually being made calling for her part to be removed for good.
The petition, which includes just one sentence calling for Jenner’s removal – ‘The video was perfect until we saw K and I wanted to throw my phone’ – has already received more than 47,000 signatures at the time of writing.
Many gave similar reasons for signing, with one person describing the 22-year-old as a ‘culture vulture’, and another writing: ‘I was happily enjoying my daily cup of brown women until that culture stealing coloniser showed up and made me spill.’
Following the backlash, Cardi defended Jenner’s appearance in the video on social media. While she didn’t reference Jenner directly, the rapper made clear her stance on the matter.
Initially thanking ‘every woman’ that was part of the WAP video, Cardi went on to say: ‘The fact that you made time in your schedules means a lot to me!’
It isn’t just the Kylie Jenner segment of the video that’s caused controversy since its release, though. Apparently, some Republican politicians didn’t appreciate the supposed ‘provocative nature’ of the video.
James P. Bradley, a Republican running for a Congressional seat in California, took to Twitter to criticise Cardi and Megan, writing: ‘Their new “song” The #WAP (which i heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model!’
Former Republican Congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine also called the song ‘vile’, saying the rappers are ‘completely wrong’ if they think the song does ‘anything to empower women’.
Obviously, fans were quick to respond to their unwanted and entirely unnecessary commentary:
Young girls have grown up listening to sexually provocative lyrics from men for years, but as soon as women get a bit of agency on the matter and own their sexuality it’s all of a sudden problematic?
Because, let’s face it, that’s quite clearly the issue here. Not the fact that rappers have had the gall to make a song about sex, but because those rappers are women.
Keep doing you, Cardi and Megan.