Pharrell Williams has released a video for “Come Get It Bae,” the second single off his top-charted album G I R L. Similar to “Happy,” the triple-platinum single that became an international hit with its buoyant refrain and 24-hour music video, “Come Get It Bae” is just as light-hearted, funky, and fun. You can’t listen to it without catching yourself bobbing your head and wanting to tear yourself away from your desk to bust a move. It’s just as contagious as its predecessor, and rightfully so. Williams knows his funk and neo-soul. It’s evident from his long and remarkable career as a producer, which includes collaborations with Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Madonna, and now, with this music video, Miley Cyrus.
“Come Get It Bae” is supposedly, according to the music video’s introduction, a celebration of women. The video begins unexpectedly with big bold red words that read, “Beauty has no expiration date,” and showcases a slew of women from all different racial backgrounds, dancing and shimmying with big bright smiles—what seems to be a complete 180 from his controversial collaboration with Robin Thicke on “Blurred Lines.” ‘Bae,’ a slang word that’s almost as ubiquitous as ‘YOLO’ these days, is a term of endearment, meaning “before anything else.” The thing is, while these beautiful women are happily dancing, Williams is sitting in what looks like a director’s seat, and watches them from behind a super 8 camera. “None of them boys know the first thing about your fantasy,” he sings. “And if they tried, they can not do it just like me.” Half-way through the video, Miley makes her appearance in cut-off denim shorts and a white crop-top, bouncing goofily around Williams, and as per usual, sticking her tongue out.
While “Come Get It Bae” will make a wonderful summer 2014 anthem, its music video is nothing short of what we all know as “the male gaze.” This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if Williams hadn’t superimposed the introduction, which calls attention to the music video’s intention. “Beauty has no expiration date” is a great declaration, but it lacks significance if the only women shown in the video are all young and beautiful.
See the video for “Come Get It Bae” below: