Sophie’s Songs: Look At Me – Laganja Estranja

Hi there! Welcome back to our latest series, written by our contributor Soph. This time, she tells us what she thinks of Laganja Estranja’s latest music video “Look at me”. 

September saw the long awaited return of Laganja Estranja to the music scene with her new single ‘Look At Me’. Previous hits like ‘Hotbox’ and ‘Legs’ are not dissimilar to the sound of this new single, with its obvious hip hop influences. However, it does seem that Laganja has amped it up a notch with ‘Look at Me’ – from the beautiful siren-like sample that you hear throughout the song (siren as in the mythical creature not the sound of an emergency vehicle!) to the political message of the music video. The single features J. Tyler, a rapper from Atlanta, who is described on his Facebook page as taking “hip hop to new levels” despite it being a “genre where being gay isn’t the norm”. Laganja said on her Instagram story that he wrote the entire album so I am intrigued to hear more.

This might be stating the obvious but the song is all about getting people to pay attention to all the great things Laganja is doing. It’s very in your face but in the best way possible and to be honest, if I was doing everything she is doing, I would be shouting about it too. Favourite lyric to shout along to in the car award goes to “Laganja makin’ bangers, you can call me Miley Cyrus”. I love a good pop culture reference and I love a bit of Miley.

from Laganja’s instagram

Laganja is a cannabis rights activist so it is not completely unsurprising that cannabis is featured in the music video. However, the video isn’t just your bog standard mention of ‘blazing’. The focal point is the war on drugs and how discriminatory the enforcement of drug laws is. It’s a powerful message and it is great to see a queen bring this topic to light and remind people that it is a very big and very real problem that people face every day.

The video opens with Laganja’s boyfriend questioned, pulled out of a car and subsequently arrested by the police, due to the possession of a joint. The officer says “exactly what I thought’ in snide voice when making the arrest, implying that the guy’s appearance and ethnicity made the office suspicious. Right from the start we are made aware that this isn’t just a fun little music video, this is addressing something serious.

From Laganja’s website

The main content of the video is set in a courtroom and a prison but is a little more lighthearted.It features a lot of dancing, not really a surprise given Laganja’s background in dance and the fact she was just on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. I enjoyed the energy in this portion of the video and the looks were also on point. There definitely needs to be a special mention to Gottmik who was the make up artist for the video and is an actual make up wizard.

The video ends with some shocking incarceration statistics and a dedication to those affected by this discrimination. I urge you to watch the video if you haven’t already, it will make you take a second and think.

stills from the ‘Look At Me’ video

I will be honest, I think the song’s lyrics have a bit of disconnect to the political message featured in the video. I cannot emphasise enough how great I think it is that Laganja is using her platform to talk about real, hard-hitting issues but I just didn’t get the link to the song. However, I’m sure Laganja would be able to set me straight on that one, it could just be my dumb self.

This song launches a whole rebrand for Laganja, with everything from her twitter to her official website seeing a Versace inspired look.  Personally, I like the song and the juxtaposing tones of the sound and the visual display a new direction for Laganja. She has definitely started on a high ( that was an unintended pun I promise but I’m leaving that in because it has tickled me) and I’m sure that the rest of the EP will follow suit.

You can follow me on twitter & instagram for my covers & videos of dogs I see on the streets.

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