'Bodak Consent' spins Cardi B hit into teachable moment
A music video set to the tune of Cardi B’s breakout hit “Bodak Yellow” is amplifying young people’s voices in hopes of teaching an important lesson about consent.
The video, “Bodak Consent,” stars a cast of youth who explore how to respond to unwanted advances. Lauren Chang, who plays Cardi B’s stand-in, Miss G, opens the video by confronting a guy who gropes her.
“Listen up, you ain’t touching me unless I want you to. I’m not joking, this is my body, it’s my right to choose,” Chang raps.
The video was created by Sex Education by Theatre (SExT) in partnership with the Canadian Foundation for AIDS research. SexT founder Shira Taylor said conversations about sex-ed are often seen as “adults debating each other,” and she wanted to create something that was fun, non-judgmental and centred around youth.
“These are the approaches that lead to real behaviour change,” Taylor told CTV News Channel on Friday.
The video also purposefully includes a diverse cast that reflects the audience Taylor hopes to reach.
“In this video, we see young people who look like youth in Toronto in 2018. And they’re listening to the same music, they’re rocking the same dance moves, and here they are modelling how to enact consent in a really relatable way,” she said.
The song choice was also quite purposeful. “Bodak Yellow” dropped in June 2017 and quickly became a ubiquitous presence on radio, smashing chart records and solidifying Cardi B’s position as rap’s rising star.
The song’s popularity amongst young people made it an easy choice to parody, Chang said.
“’Bodak Yellow’ was one of those songs that all my friends knew the words to, and I thought it was pretty cool because it’s by a female rapper. And I knew I wanted to talk about consent, and consent is usually framed as this super serious thing – which of course it is – but I wanted to do a fun and empowering take on it,” she said.
Chang says it’s important that the message comes from young people because they have an inside understanding of issues facing young people today.
“I see a lot around me that my friends and I go through these sort of situations every day. And sometimes I don’t think that our parents understand or are fully aware of this,” she said.