Junglepussy, “Me”

NM Mashurov

“So…why the name Junglepussy?” asks a bearded dude in the opening moments of the artist’s new video. It’s a question we’re sure she’s used to getting from many a squeamish promoter/booker. In a weary deadpan, she responds, “Dick Clark, Dick Cheney, Dick Wolf, Dick Van Dyke…”

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At a time when posting a photo of a fully clothed woman on her period is grounds for getting banned on Instagram, when people still see Kerouac as canon but selfies are considered narcissistic, having a name like Junglepussy is a radical act, and putting out a video like “Me” is even more so.

By playing with ideas of authenticity and performativity, “Me” is the ultimate selfie. Throughout the video, Junglepussy plays with references and representation, putting forth different versions of herself to demonstrate that any singular pronoun contains multitudes. She performs at a demure jazz space which turns into a popping gallery show, hangs out in nature dressed alternately like a Free People model and a Nikki Minaj stand in, chats with Oprah in her bedroom on a corded phone scrawled with “Fuck Texting,” sells crystals in a new age infomercial and, in a darker turn, gets arrested by an undercover at a bodega. Hard femme badassery is present throughout: a close-up of long black nails playing bass, baby pink go-go boots and matching lipstick, a must-have tarot deck starring Brandy, Foxy, Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, Patra, and Erykah Badu. A pile of books on her bed groups together Edgar Allen Poe, Moesha, Female Chauvinist Pigs, and Maya Angelou.

The track itself is smooth jazz and R&B punctuated with faint but deliberate trap-inspired drum fills that match Junglepussy’s controlled vocal delivery. Softer than on “Nah” but no less powerful, she asks, “Can I flow? Can I go to the corner sto’ in a pink robe?” — a more pertinent question than the one she was asked at the outset.

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