I cannot get Jessie J’s debut single, “Do it Like a Dude” out of my head ever since I heard it last night, and I won’t be surprised if it becomes an instant club hit (especially at lesbian night at the local gay bar).
Jessie J has been singing professionally from the age of 11, when she was cast in an Andrew Loyd Webber musical. Ever since, she’s been penning songs for artists including Justin Timberlake (who calls her “the best singer in the world right now”), Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, and Miley Cyrus (she wrote the hit “Party in the U.S.A.). The 22 year old was also announced as The BBC’s Sound of 2011, setting her up to be someone to watch out for.
Although “Do it Like a Dude” might be misinterpreted as using maleness as the golden standard for women to emulate, I think Jessie J is smarter than that. In this article she says, “At the time I felt that the chart was very auto-tune heavy. There was a lot of guys with their trousers down by their knees and their neck chains so heavy they couldn’t hold their heads up. And I just went into the studio and they played a beat and I started singing, ‘Do it like a brother, do it like a dude.’ And it was a joke, I was laughing. I said ‘let’s write a joke song’. And within 15 minutes it was done.”
The video, which seems to take place in some kind of underground lesbian fight club, exudes female masculinity and aggression. Jessie J’s backup dancers are butches in wife beaters (rumor has it one of them is her current or ex-girlfriend), and overall, the gayness in the video seems authentic, if you were wondering. Jessie J emulates hip-hop guys by thrusting and grabbing her crotch. She seems to be taunting them, challenging them, as if she’s saying “I can do it like a brother, and better”. Yes you can Jessie J.