A powerful Beats by Dr. Dre ad campaign hit social platforms on Thursday and it featured three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka. The powerful two-minute video digs deeply into common stereotypes and hypocrisies surrounding Black culture all while celebrating it.
The video opens with the famous refrain, “You love me; you love me not.” Which in this case doesn't involve any flowers or petal plucking, but instead the common mixed messages present in systematic racism. One message that is the core of this short video is the admiration and love for Black culture but not Black individuals.
Osaka is featured alongside other prominent Black athletes, activists and musicians such as Nascar driver Bubba Wallac, activist Janaya Future Khan and singer Lil Baby.
Osaka in the Beats By Dre. Dre video.
"You love how I sound: My voice, these beats, this flow. Not me though, right?” musician Tobe Nwigwe narrates during the short film.
Nwigwe continues to narrate while stars make quick and visually powerful turns in front of the camera.
"We still play while the world burns, on fields that aren't even level," Nwigwe says as Osaka makes her debut, wearing a traditional Haitian head wrap and ensemble while examining herself in a mirror.
The 23-year-old claimed her second US Open title this year all while raising awareness for social injustices in the United States. As she walked onto the court for each match, Osaka wore a mask that displayed the name of a Black person who was killed in violent interactions with police.
During the US Open a reporter asked what message she was trying to spread:
“Well, what was the message that you got was more the question," Osaka said. "I feel like the point is to make people start talking."
The Beats by Dre ad, directed by Melina Matsoukas, aims to push everyone to not just watch the video but also think about the mixed messages. Matsoukas also showcased the joy and beauty that Black culture offers.
"Those who touched this piece have seen the world actively love their art or their athletic achievements, while also seeing the world continually oppress the Black community at large," the Youtube caption reads.
Osaka may be done vying for titles this season, but she isn't finished trying to make a difference off the court.