“You love Black culture, but do you love me?”Black athletes and artists are asking a question in new ad.
A new ad campaign from Apple’s Beats by Dre kicked off on Thursday. It started with a short video that accomplishes many things at once. It honors the Black culture, celebrates Black joy, showcases Black stars, and confronts age-old hypocrisy, all in one!
The ad features popular faces in the black community. These include; Tennis champ Naomi Osaka, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, rapper Lil Baby, activist Janaya Future Khan, and others. The two-minute clip opens with the familiar refrain, “You love me; you love me not.” However, in this case, those lines don’t refer to the romantic petal-plucking game you may or may not know. Instead, as said earlier, the video highlights mixed messages that are a common component of systemic racism — such as embracing Black culture without embracing Black individuals.
“You love Black culture. But do you love me?” Musical artist Tobe Nwigwe says. “You love how I sound: My voice, these beats, this flow. Not me though, right?“
“You love how I look: My hair, this skin. But me? Nah,” he continues. “We don’t get to exist. We’re forced to survive. We still fight. We still play while the world burns, on fields that ain’t even level.” One by one, stars turn to the camera to reiterate those points.
As the scenes turn from deep reflection to moments of celebration, the words shift back to where the poem began. “Love me or not, we love each other deeply…. You love my culture. But do you love me? What a world that would be.”
The ad, directed by Melina Matsoukas, serves as a powerful mini-film that challenges viewers to not just look at the screen but inside themselves as well.
A comment on the ad’s YouTube page reads; “Those who touched this piece have seen the world actively love their art or their athletic achievements, while also seeing the world continually oppress the Black community at large.” He/She continues; “Beats, the creatives, and the cast joined together with the unified goal of inspiring Black youth by highlighting the everyday beauty and rich diversity of their culture.“