Josephine A. Wisseh, more popularly known as J Flow, is a Liberian hip hop and hipco artist. She first got her start dancing on the street before realizing her talent for music. From there she joined her church choir until finally becoming an artist in an all-girls musical group called Black Angels. Unfortunately, the group did not last but her time with Black Angels set the stage for her to pursue a solo career in the music industry. She has done this for years but her career recently went in a new direction with her signing to the record label Legend Musik. Since then, she has released at least five new music videos under the new label, one of which will be the focus of this blog.
The “Boomba” music video by J Flow made its debut on the Legend Musik YouTube channel in early 2019 and since then has amassed over 2,000 views. Much of the song is in Kru – the dialect that she speaks – but the English lyrics and video tell a story of a woman who has come a long way while never forgetting her roots. Throughout the video she pays homage to her hometown as well as the state of Liberia, expressing her pride in her birthplace. J Flow also provides a healthy dose of braggadocio in the song. She claims that “nobody’s coming in my space” and mentions how people want to “get into my pants.” This hints at her agency and ownership of her sexuality, despite how little skin she shows in the video. While there are other women in the video who may be considered to be dressed or dancing provocatively, this video features J Flow dressed in a hoodie at one point and overalls at another. In choosing not to display the sexual objectification of women prominently in her video, J Flow is challenging hegemonic masculinity. She is proving that a woman can find success without baring all or being a plaything for a man. This is further enforced by her ability to confidently brag about what makes her desirable since men and society at large tend to frown at women who are not afraid of sex or their sexuality.