Imagine living in a community that is actively pushing you out of your home because of who you are and who you choose to be. Feels like a very real state of our very modern times today where many are moving backwards in pursuit of more prejudice and hate.
While we deal with some very current real problems, Ray Blk’s new visual for ‘Chill Out’ takes us back to a community living through a long standing problem of disenfranchisement within their own community. The new visual opens with news clips of homophobic chants and denigrating vile statements towards the Gully Queens in Kingston. The Gully Queens a community of LGBT individuals, have spent every waking day and night fighting through an ideology that is old, out of context and insensitive.
Unapologetically open, Ray’s performance is delivered with her signature elegance – relatable, forward thinking and fierce. Hip-Hop and Soul personified, Ray BLK is shot alongside these Queens in their own kingdom, amongst ruins, scared, hair laid for the gwads, free in the space they’ve created for themselves.
Behind the highlands, in the creeks and jungle of Jamaica’s St. Portland Parish the story of these women set against the backdrop of Ray’s storytelling, is compelling and organic within the visual experience itself. While she sings of bossing up on one man in question, Ray the reverses roles and details the pressures women in society feel from misogynistic attitudes from men.
Directed by Phillipa Price, beautiful portrait shots of the Gully Queens exhibit not only vulnerability in the face of adversity but they also display a sense of togetherness and perseverance. Something today many of us women wish we could muster up in unity and exhort our power with dignity. Ray comments on the experience;
“I believe if you see injustice and do nothing, you’re part of the problem. So, after hearing about the Gully Queens, I thought it was something that needed to be brought more to light. In the process I got to meet these incredibly strong women who were so happy in the face of adversity. I feel like this video solidifies what the song is about, which is female empowerment.”
Featuring S.G Lewis, ‘Chill Out’ is featured on Ray’s recently released mini-album ‘Durt’ and it’s a stellar step in the right direction.