Welcome to ‘Will I Get Fired For This?,’ Rolling Stone’s occasionally recurring column in which Staff Writer Charles Holmes — whose duties include but are not limited to watching and writing about music videos — watches a new music video that he fears will get him fired. You can read its previous entry, for Nicki Minaj’s “Good Form,” here.
The music video for City Girls‘ “Twerk,” featuring Cardi B, is built upon a simple concept. “On November 9th, The City Girls sent out a challenge to the world,” begins the Daps and Sara Lacombe-directed visual. “The goal…To find the world’s greatest Twerker.” In pursuit of this goal, various women were “flewed out” to compete for $50,000. The result is a cornucopia of gifted women twerking for glory, splendor and, as a press release so eloquently put it, “hard cash” — all in front of Cardi B and one half of City Girls, Yung Miami. Here is a play-by-play of watching this piece of art, fullscreen on my massive iMac computer in the middle of a workday.
0:10 – This video is starting very tranquil for a song called “Twerk.” The ocean is calming.
0:29 – A news segment on the dangers of twerking just flashed across the screen. The video is positioning twerking as a societal crisis, only to later break down that toxic stereotype. I’m officially on this ride.
0:53 – Slow-motion booty has arrived. Gravity doesn’t get enough acclaim for the wonders it works on the human form.
0:59 – Cardi and Miami are painted like a tiger and zebra. The furry community secured a big win today.
1:08 – What do you call that part of a tiger mouth that’s below the nose, but above the chin? You know what I’m talking about. Whatever you call it, that white furry part is staring at me, painted on Cardi’s butt. Whoever painted that tiger deserves a Nobel Peace prize.
1:09 – I just scooted my chair closer to the screen. I turn around, ashamed. Nobody saw.
2:02 – Wardrobe switch! Cardi looks like Super Saiyan God Goku. I wonder if she’s going to see Dragon Ball Super: Broly tonight.
2:30 – A chill ran up my spine. There is a dusty butt on my screen, but in a sexy way — not in, like, a listen-to-Immortal-Technique way. The chill is unrelated to the sexiness of the slow motion, dusty butt.
2:52 – Sweet, sweet product placement.
3:06 – What in the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is this woman doing? Her legs are hanging on that pole for dear life, impressive upper body strength.
3:23 – One of the twerkers just lit a cigarette upside down. The surgeons general will not be thrilled when they see this video.
3:28 – Cigarette girl just did a backflip and then continued to twerk, which is a level of commitment to twerking we should all aspire to reach. She saw, she flewed, she conquered.
After almost four minutes, I’m still employed (to my knowledge). I wipe the furrow of my brow like a young Obama, pondering what I just witnessed. That’s the mark of good cinema. (10/10, would watch again).