Interview: Jennifer Lopez Talks Objectifying Women, New Video
By Courtney E. Smith
Jennifer Lopez is jumping into the fray with her new single, “I Luh Ya Papi.” The clip, directed by Jessy Terrero (the man behind clips for Akon, Sean Paul and 50 Cent), takes on the objectification of women — specifically in ’90s era hip hop videos, although its opening monologue falls right into a conversation of the practice by the music industry as a whole. We chatted with J. Lo about if her aim was a parody or a political statement, how the men on set reacted to having the tables turned and what we can expect from her forthcoming album, due out on June 17.
Is this video more a commentary on the objectification of women in music videos or a send-up of the cliches we’ve gotten used to seeing in hip hop videos?
It’s a little bit of both. We’re doing it in a fun way, but you can’t help [create] a commentary. We have been watching women be objectified for years in not just rap videos but in rock ‘n roll videos, in every kind of video. It was a lot of fun to turn the tables and think about what the shots are that directors do every single time when there’s a girl in a video in a bathing suit [laughs]. It was meant to be a funny, tongue-in-cheek version of those kind of videos, but still beautiful. The song is called “I Luh Ya Papi,” so it only made sense to have a bunch of good-looking papis in the video.
You’re a writer on the song and the lyrics reference your body. It’s kind of in opposition to the video concept. Did that come into play when you were putting the video together?
The director, when heard the song, he felt like the style of how I was doing the song was like a rap video. He was like, “You’re rap-singing on the verses. This is the closest you’ll ever do to a rap song.” And it is talking about loving that person, but I always saw the song as very tongue-in-cheek as well. It’s like how guys treat girls, like, “Oh yeah, I love you. I didn’t see it before. I love you. I luh ya!” So it’s like, yeah I’ll put it down on you but then that’s it. [laughs] It was very empowering in a sense, and so the song is very cheeky as well if you really listen to it.