When JT said “hood b—h dressed like a weirdo” in her song, “No Bars,”, she meant it and her campaign with Mowalola x Beats by Dre delivered nothing short of that. 

On Monday, Sept. 18, JT, the other half of the infamous rap group “City Girls,” dropped a seven-slide Instagram post of some photos from the Mowalola x Beats by Dre campaign. The pictures showed JT in a multi-colored wig with cords hanging from her back, with the campaign product on. The product was officially released Thursday, Sept. 21 on the Mowalola website. 

JT’s feature in the campaign shoot raised a lot of discourse online, with lots of people finding JT’s dive into fashion unfitting. 

The entire discourse surrounding the campaign was ridiculous. Most fans were surprised at how JT was styled with the headphones for the shoot. Most notably, a photo of JT covering her eye with headphones caused a particular uproar. Atlanta Black Star shared one and said, “The artistic look of the latter photo was lost on some fans, who commented that the look was weird. ‘The headphone covering your eye is kinda crazy when you think about it, ngl,’ wrote one person.”

JT not only tweeted back on the backlash but went live on Instagram as well. After responding, in a now deleted post, on X, formerly known as Twitter, with “One thing about y’all porch n—gas y’all don’t let nobody have s—t noting is to y’all standard. You’ll never see a Hugo comte lens just like your beard will never connect”, JT went live to further share her two-piece on people’s opinions. 

On the live, JT talked about how “stepping out of her box” opened up more opportunities for her. She also shared that she is working within fashion not only to appeal to the fashion world but to show her community that girls who “look like her” have spaces within haute couture as well. 

While people claim the headphone over JT’s eye was disrespectful, the underlying intentions and meaning behind other comments bring up a valid conversation within the African-American community and society itself. 

Black people are no strangers to expressing their opinions on people who express themselves through unconventional ways. “Alternative” Black folk have always been shunned and misrepresented within the Black community. The lack of understanding and open-mindedness when it comes to creative expression has haunted the Black community for eons. 

Society, as a whole, has had trouble seeing Black people, more specifically afro-centric Black people, in spaces proclaimed by their white counterparts. Colorism is a huge factor contributing to the distaste of seeing darker-skinned women in fashion. 

Not to mention, people unable to appreciate a woman’s music while separating artists from their separate artistic mediums. JT does rap about sexually liberating topics and being a bad b—h overall, however, that doesn’t mean every single facet of her life and artistic expression is going to resemble that same image her music conveys. 

JT is a multifaceted individual but has never really expressed that. Now that she is beginning to experiment with fashion, change her style and take risks with art and creativity, her look is being taken seriously by people within the fashion and entertainment industry. 

Her audience has yet to accommodate this change and in turn, are projecting their insecurities onto her. Essence quoted JT on her live saying, “‘Y’all be wanting [sic] that y’all can easily duplicate so y’all can be like them,’ JT added further noting that she’s not interested in being a cookie-cutter creation.”

As a community, it’s inherently contradicting. We are so quick to complain about the lack of representation of Black people, more specifically darker-skinned women in media, especially in high fashion. Now that we have been provided an authentic “hood b—h” from the streets that’s dark skin, with Afrocentric features and a deep urban-southern twang, it is being taken for granted. 

JT’s dive into fashion goes beyond garments alone, but Black femininity as a whole. It’s liberating and refreshing to see someone who looks like you expressing themselves in these extensive ways. The need for more representation in all aspects of media and entertainment is crucial. Its campaigns featuring women like JT that remind the Black community that there is and will always be space for our beauty, creativity and art within media.