‘Pimpin’ All Over the World:’ Passport Bros and the Eroticism of Exoticism

Faithe J Day
Published in
8 min readFeb 5

Photo by Levi Ventura on Unsplash

Growing up, my mother was always a fan of teachable moments. Opportunities for her to offer a lesson on life taught through the lens of developing critical thinking skills. One teachable moment that always stands out to me is focused on music and media. As a millennial, I grew up when MTV, Vh1, and BET were still primarily known for their music videos. Therefore, I spent just as much time listening to music on the radio as watching videos for some of my favorite songs.

And while I do not remember what prompted this, I do remember one day in 2000 when my mother sat my sister and me down to watch the new music video for Jay-Z’s song “Big Pimpin’.” However, instead of watching it with the music on, she muted the television, turned on the captions, and had us watch the images of the music video play out on the screen in relation to the song’s lyrics.

Removing the catchy beats and tune, my interpretation of the song began to shift. What was once a fun song to dance to was an almost disturbing representation of the objectification of women. Afterward, she asked us what we thought about the video and how it made us feel. And it did not feel good to watch; for years, that exercise changed how I analyzed media and music.

Fast forward more than two decades, and I am teaching two classes, one on critical analyses of race and racism and another on Black Feminist Thought. And, while one class is currently reflecting on Kimberle Crenshaw’s critique of misogyny in rap music through her article “Mapping the Margins,” my second class is reading Laundy Braun, and Evelynn Hammonds’ work on the science of race told through the lens of how Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology developed from studies on the African continent.

Reading across these classes, I have also begun to reflect on portrayals of sexual tourism and trafficking that have become central narratives in the news and social media. Especially within critiques of the manosphere, a new generation of men has seemingly…

Faithe J Day
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Writer, Creator, and Educator. Millennial and Internet Expert. Top Writer in Social Media, Culture, Television, and Feminism. Learn more at https://fjday.com