Imagine it’s September 2012, you’re watching XFactor because both Demi Lovato and Britney Spears are serving as judges this season. On stage, walks this very young looking, cutesy black girl and she decides to sing “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. You give that, “okay this can go one of two ways” side-eye and she opens her mouth. Out comes this tender, obviously timid, but potential riddled voice. She says her name is Normani. You set a mental note to keep and eye on her.
Seven years later, you’re older, way more mature and you are waiting for Normani to release her highly anticipated 3rd single “Motivation.” You think back on how she wasn’t any where near the focal point of her girl group and you wonder “why the fuck not?” The premiere of the video and single finally rolls around and it leaves you speechless. You can tell this is the beginning of something magical.
The release of “Motivation” was a moment in pop culture. People were literally counting down the moments until they could get their eyes on the early 2000’s inspired video. Not only did Normani, prove that she should’ve been the member of Fifth Harmony that got a commercial push earlier but she also, pulled out all the stops to prove nay-sayers wrong.
This isn’t going to be a recap of her video, (you can watch that yourself, and you should) but did you guys see that split from a handstand in the rain, and in heels???????? Instead, this will be a comprehensive look at why Normani Kordei Hamilton is the perfect pop star for this generation.
Not only did Normani pay homage to pop icons before her, but she inserted herself into the conversation by putting her own video on the 106&Park countdown. What our good sis was telling us was that, not only does she want to be an example to younger girls specifically, dark skin black ones, but she also sees herself on top of the pop game at some point.
She gave us looks, she gave us choreo, she gave us a cute sing-songy song. But it’s not even about that at this point. It’s that Normani is literally what pop needs. No disrespect to anyone’s faves but the culture needs her. We need the extra flavor she gives, we need the curves she has, we need the athleticism and most importantly…we need the dark skin.
In recent memory, there has not been a dark skin woman to cause the amount of fanfare that Normani has. That means people are desperately yearning for something fresh and new. She’s patient yet, aggressive with her career. She’s positioned herself to be successful by lending her voice on countless singles with more established artists to get her name out there. She has not rushed a single drop instead letting her fans and critics know that she can only release her first album once and will take as long as she needs to get everything perfect. She and her team are methodical. She’s crafting her career in the same mold as Beyoncé and Rihanna.
No, this isn’t a comparison to either of those women. Normani has simply seen a formula that has worked for two black women and may adopt some of their career choices in order to help her star continue to rise. The actual Beyoncé comparisons are like comparing apples to oranges. Once we respect that Normani is Normani and all we need to be satisfied is for her to be Normani, the comparisons will be a mute point.
Normani has also used her undeniable talent to leverage very lucrative deals for herself. Most recently she walked and danced in the Savage X Fenty fashion show that was put on by Rihanna. By doing this not only did Normani expose herself to a larger audience but once again showed us that she is quite literally, “that BITCH”. She also has been getting love from countless amounts of people in the industry a lot that don’t even perform the same genre of music as her. 2019 Album of the Year Grammy recipient, country crooner, Kacey Musgraves even shouted Normani out in a recent video saying “I’m Normani” while dancing to a T-Pain song.
Obviously, Normani sees the impact she been having and is taking this platform serious. Honestly, if she keeps bouncing basketballs off her ass and giving us this level of choreo, she won’t have to worry about staying relevant. The proof is in the mothafuckin pudding and Normani is serving us chocolate.