Longtime readers are probably wondering why there’s a Willow Smith video anywhere on this site.  Yes, her sound is way more Rihanna than Sharon Jones.  But looking at this video, I can’t help but be pleased at seeing the effects of the cultural shift that’s moving black rock closer to the mainstream.  And while bubble gum pop lovers may think this hair-whipping phenomenon is brand new, y’all rockers probably recognize this as the headbanger’s move, albeit smoothed out on the pop tip.

So check out Willow here. . .

. . .and then watch Corey Glover freak it circa 1988 around the 3:44 mark:

Of course, there are plenty examples of this kind of move throughout rock, particularly at the more metallic end of the spectrum.  If you can think of specific artists who do this, then please shout them out in the comments.

So, yeah, a little black girl is rockin’ out.  We might even break off a little piece of credit for her hipster clothes to Kanye.  Go, girl, but be careful: Whipping your neck like that can be dangerous.

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  • Carmella

    There’s a Janelle Monae quality to Willow. Striking.

    • Jenn

      Agreed, thought of Janelle when I saw this as well. I’m actually pretty impressed w/ Willow/her producers.

  • Darrell McNeill

    Style as a substitute for substance never flies with me. Another biter sipping the Black punk surrup, giving no props and paying no dues. The music is straight out the Dirty South crunk bounce playbook–this could have just as easily been Souljah Boy, Flo Rida, Ke$ha or Lady Gag Me. Black rock sistas have been fly like this for years. I’m not going to be satisfied until Tamar-kali or Sophia Ramos or Militia can get equal shine for being originators instead of milquetoast, watered-down imitators.