Have you seen me? Have you seen me in the magazine? asks Mister Wallace with rising urgency on "It Girl." It's the standout single from his debut EP, FAGGOT (buy it here), which was released in February via FUTUREHOOD, a label he started with fellow Banjee Report collective member aCeb00mbaP. Against a beat that bounces as though the floor's too hot to stand on, the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based rapper drops rapid-fire lines that embody the radical potential of self-love. In the video for "It Girl," which we're proud to premiere on The FADER today, Mister Wallace walks a line between two worlds: one in which he's behind the wheel of a burnt out car in a cap and ripped denim, and another in which he cuts shapes in neon fake fur and a chic, button-down body suit. It's a must-watch (and again, and again).
"I wrote 'It Girl' over the course of 2014 as the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining national recognition," Mister Wallace told The FADER over email. "It became clear to me that before I could realize any dream of being a successful artist, I was more likely to become world famous for being gunned down by a racist cop under the protection of the law. I started to imagine how my image would be used by the media to perpetuate this horrific narrative to younger people and it sent me over the edge. 'It Girl' became my anthem and it kept me alive at a time when lovers and employers felt my blackness and my queerness had gone too far from what's acceptable to mainstream society. My hope is that this song, my truth, gives you LIFE and inspires you to appreciate the lives of those who look and feel like me."
Video director Ahmed Ibrahim also shared his thoughts: "I wanted my video to show a street kid chasing a broken American Dream," he told The FADER. "'It Girl' dreams of fame, glamor, fashion shoots, fast cars and speed boats but they’re all beautifully broken, decayed and up on blocks. My team at The Music Video Truck decided to shoot this video in 10 hours with a budget of $400 and a crew of two people, maybe that’s what gives it a a kind of tragic glamor. It’s all just play. I find the social pressure of being glamorous, famous and successful in America to be unbearable. We made this video for those who still find glamor and dignity even in their worst conditions. Mister Wallace is aggressively optimistic and driven to speak to and on behalf of those who are truly IT."