Kehlani Celebrates Sex Workers In New Music Video

LOS ANGELES—Two-time Grammy Award nominee Kehlani Parrish, who records and performs under the name Kehlani, last week released a new video in conjunction with her single “Can I,” a track from her second album, It Was Good Until It Wasn’t. But the singer, who co-directed the video under the pseudonym Hyphy Williams, has a larger purpose for the video than simply promoting the song.  Her “quarantine style” video for “Can I” features performances by six “cam girls,” and is a passionate call to support sex workers. “Support sex workers!!!! ESPECIALLY BLACK TRANS SEX WORKERS. The most vulnerable,” she wrote in an Instagram post announcing the video’s release. “Sex workers deserve proper pay, protection, and to exist in their careers without consistent shame & violence.” Sex workers in the United States and worldwide have faced additional hardships due to the economic impact of coronavirus lockdowns. While like many workers they have been prevented from earning an income due to health restrictions, they have also been shut out from most government economic relief packages in countries around the globe. Even before the pandemic took hold, black trans people, including sex workers faced an epidemic of violence in the United States and Canada. At least 20 were murdered in the U.S. alone last year. Three of the victims were adult performers.  Watch Kehlani’s “Can I” video, below. Kehlani’s video was deemed possibly “her best yet” by MTV music critic Patrick Hosken, who noted that the singer is “just an observer” in the video, while the featured cam performers are “the real stars.” “In the dynamic new clip directed by the artist herself and Sebastian Sdaigui, Kehlani watches a series of cam shows, some of them as charmingly homemade as it gets,’ Hosken decsribed. “The mood is certainly horny, which matches the song itself, yet even in the dark of desire (or perhaps especially there), the clip is a celebration of sex workers.” Perhaps anticipating a backlash, Kehlani took to her Twitter account to explain why she made the video. “i stand with women, believe women, & i love my friends. if that’s something that turns you off from me or makes you no longer support, bless you forreal you have no reason to have ever supported me in the first place.. i’m not your cup of tea,” she wrote. The video concludes with a call for decriminalization of sex work by activist Da’Shaun L. Harrison. “It is a legitimate form of labor that must be decriminalized so as to function as a safe form of work for all sex workers. It is often the lives and livelihoods of those who do street-level work that is impacted by criminalizing policies and cultural stigmatization,” he wrote. “Black people—as well as Indigenous people and other people of color—deserve to be able to perform sex work without any limitations or stigmas attached.” Photo By Kehlani YouTube Screen Capture 

written by: Lawrence Avery

source: Kehlani Celebrates Sex Workers In New Music Video | AVN

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