Yesterday I attended my first photo shoot. It was for a small feature on Teairra Mari. If you can’t recall the name, rest assured Jay Z will do everything in his power to make sure that you are soon able to. While her first single is catchy, I’m not particularly impressed with her. I hate the way she goes on and on about why a n___ can’t do this or that for her. To quote my friend, “Why we gotta be alllll that?” Her next single, “No Daddy,” is far worse. The key lyrics in the hook are, “I ain’t have no daddy, that’s why I’m wild.” Fast ass girls rejoice: Teairra (or her handlers anyway) has produced your anthem. Speaking of her handlers, perhaps they’re to blame for her apparent wildness.
Teairra is a cute girl. Extremely cute. So cute I had to repeat, “five to ten, Mike” over and over again to remind myself that she is only 17 years old. I can’t remember the woman’s name, but she’s light skinned, thin, and appeared on the series Making The Band. She had an article in either XXL, The Source, or Vibe (that really helps, right?) about her career and her recent transition from Bad Boy to Def Scam….er Jam. Anywho, she was accompanied with a number of women – all in their late 20s/early 30s, all instructing Teairra on how to appear sexier in the pictures. She’s a quick study, because when she turns it on, she turns it on. She looked a lot like Vanity. Oh how I miss Vanity.
Back on point, I can’t believe how overtly sexual this minor’s image is. Well, yes I can. She’s simply joining the ranks of Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, and even Aaliyah (and for you non-believers, go listen to the remix to “Your Body’s Callin” where she’s asking Pissy what he wants to eat…she’s not baking cakes, people). While I’m sure pubescent boys everywhere will enjoy the spread (and I do mean spread) as I did when the aforementioned dropped down and spread their wings years ago, I can’t help but think of how wrong this is.
It’s one thing to be comfortable with your sexuality – even at a younger age – and convey that to your audiences; it’s another to be pimped by a bunch of label people. My money is on Teairra fitting the latter. Clearly, they are seeking to morph young Teairra into a baby Beyonce. I even believe that Jay Z once dubbed her as such. She’s also supposedly to speak for young women of this generation the same way Mary J. Blige spoke for hers – believe me, I am not to blame for that absurd prediction.
If anything, Teairra is just another example of how the industry places so much more emphasis in image over substance. Another pretty girl with a sexed up image to mask the fact that her voice leaves a lot to be desired. And the sad part about it is that it’s women who know better doing the dirty work. Someone find this chick’s father. Someone find us all an artist with something new to bring to the table.