Drake’s new video “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”

In Drake’s new music video for “Hold On (We’re Going Home)” I was concerned with the presentation of women; from the very beginning bit, “there’s a lot more work to do, which we won’t get into for the sake of the female company” to which the females in the club respond by tossing their heads back and smiling, I was immediately discouraged about where the video was leading.  The video continues in a very theatrical way, and though I am not overly familiar with either, the theme/look of Miami Vice and Scarface seem to be what Drake is channeling (at least according to the web).  This aspect did not concern me as much as the first line and quickly following, the image of Drake’s girlfriend at home (before the kidnapping) in the bathroom, grooming herself, even in Drake’s physical absence, she performs for him and for us, the viewers (as an object under the male gaze).  I thought of the video we watched in the first week, which discusses the portrayal of females in advertisements as weak, vulnerable, exposed and unable to fend for themselves–that in such ads, to be sexually attractive, these are the qualities females are required to embody. The woman in the video is exposed, literally in lingerie and seems to be so consumed in self-gaze that she is unaware of the kidnappers approaching her, therefore, left completely vulnerable. Drake, however, uses this “damsel in distress” situation to take on stereotypical “male” attributes/characteristics and comes across as assertive and strong (strong also meaning violent) and eventually rescues her in the end… What do you all think of the depiction of the female characters and the male characters in the video or what do you think about the video’s use of violence?

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2 thoughts on “Drake’s new video “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”

  1. I agree very much with your description of how women are portrayed throughout this music video, Hannah. The comment made by one of the men that you pointed out in the beginning of the video immediately shocked me, and the women just laughed along with the comment. Not only did they accept the comment, they played along with it.

    As for the violence, I felt it was very exaggerated. The scenes looked like a near replica of my brother’s video games.

    I think it would be interesting to compare this video to our weekly film assignments. Women are nothing more than a background character in Drake’s video; any female could have been substituted to play their roles. Meanwhile, the films we have been watching in class feature prominent female characters through a journey of progression with men in supporting roles. (Do extremes have be taken for texts to be categorized as “typical” male/female films? Is there a balance in the spectrum?)

  2. Hannah,

    I decided to watch the music video before reading your post, and I found that I agreed with everything you said. I found it especially interesting that she wasn’t just a damsel in distress, she was an almost naked damsel in distress. The video was fairly transparent in its use of the woman as an object, and specifically a sex object.

    To address your question about the violence: it seemed to me that it was a medium through which the men asserted their masculinity over the woman and each other. Drake and his crew are perceived as more manly because of their superior violence.

    Also, I agree with you regarding the connection to the film we watched that summarized Goffman’s work. I believe that almost everything mentioned in The Codes of Gender can be seen in this music video. I was especially struck by the images of the woman–in some sort of vulnerable state, such as bound and gagged–surrounded by men. The Codes of Gender discussed how violent images of women in a vulnerable state surrounded by men are because of the potential for harm. In the music video, the only instance of the men actually causing the woman harm is the moment when the main “bad guy” is strangling her. However, the other images are violent as well because of the power unbalance and the threat the men hold to the woman.

    –Mariah

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