This International Women's Day, no woman should be left behind. As rappers, Toronto's Haviah Mighty, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis and pHoenix Pagliacci of The Sorority know this too well, and with the "Ladies Night" track and video they're speaking out on the labor, resilience, intellect, and beauty of all women — especially musicians.
It's a tribute to the 1997 song of the same name, by Lil Kim, Left Eye, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, and Da Brat. But in the updated "Ladies Night," the group spits cutthroat bars about standing in solidarity with Muslims and Black Lives Matter; two groups where the lives of women have always been particularly, visibly, at stake. The track also underscores how women are overlooked for their creativity and contributions to artistic fields, and how the "dopest bitches" like "The Foxy's, Remy's, Latifahs, the TLC's and the Kim's" are never noticed. One verse ends with, "Y'all still ain't putting females on your festival stage? The fuck?" There couldn't be a more direct callout to music media and its consumers for ignoring the work of black women in creating the commercial industry of today.
"As all great ideas do, the idea to remix 'Ladies Night came in a group chat'," The Sorority explained to The FADER via email. "We'd been talking about the lack of respect for hip hop and new generation rap beefs, (ie. Lil Yachty dissing B.I.G., Remy Ma's diss on Nicki) and we wanted to offer a new narrative, to let women know with this video we can share spotlight, lift each other up, and celebrate our achievements.
We also wanted to make a video for us, by us. So we set out building an all-women video production crew, brought in an all-women cast (featuring some prominent Canadian legends like Michie Mee and Eternia), partnered with a training and fitness venue called Pursuit OCR and scheduled the shoot during their women-only drop in hours, and raised money for a cause. The budget for this video was small, but we were able to raise over $600 for Toronto Rape Crisis Centre. This video shoot is more than just another music video; it is a reminder that no matter what race, religion, body type or ability, there is always room and time for women to come together and flourish; there is always space for 'Ladies Night.'"