Local rapper Shigga Shay: New music video not meant to objectify women

Local rapper Shigga Shay: New music video not meant to objectify women
SEXY: The video features personalities such as (from left to right) Munah Bagharib, Inch Chua and Sandra Tang.

He's known for his testosterone-filled "gangsta" music videos complete with bad boys spouting Singlish and Hokkien phrases.

But in the video for his new song ShiGGa Morning, local rapper Shigga Shay, 23, added a feminine touch.

In it, he raps while walking around a swanky pad surrounded by a bevy of sexy babes clad in cleavage-baring tops and tiny shorts.

Apart from local musician Inch Chua who also sings on the song, the four-minute clip features local female starlets such as YouTube personality Munah Bagharib, musicians Narelle Kheng and Sandra Riley Tang, and model-bloggers Yan Kay Kay, Melody Low and Jade Rasif.

It has attracted over 49,000 views and a variety of comments since it was uploaded last Wednesday.

One netizen wrote "too damn hot" while another said: "Didn't know bad music and objectification of women sell in Singapore".

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Shigga Shay, whose real name is Pek Jin Shen, said: "I've always wanted to make a music video featuring many women, and this is the only song that I could do that with.

"I chose Singaporean women who are all leaders and influencers in their own industries, be it TV hosts, deejays or singers. The video was more tongue-in-cheek, and done in a fun and tasteful manner."

Shigga Shay stressed that it was not meant to play up the flashy stereotypes found in music videos of US rappers. It was also not meant to be overly-sexual or to objectify women, he explained.

When asked jokingly if his female co-stars were chosen based on their cup sizes, he laughed and said "no", before adding: "As long as they look good on camera.

"We definitely did it that way to get people talking and draw attention, but it's not too blatant or rude, and it's not distasteful."

Munah, 27, agreed, telling TNP: "With Shigga, we know his message as an artist, and we have no qualms about his concept. It was a casual fun idea, and all of us enjoyed the filming process so much as a team... it's a piece which showcases all these talented people who came on board the project for him. It was a great collaboration."

Chua, who has known Shigga Shay since 2008 and had always wanted to work with him, said she was glad ShiGGa Morning finally brought the two of them together.

The 26-year-old said of the video: "Look at the line-up, there were just so many fun and pretty girls on set. The atmosphere was really good, it was a fun shoot... if you listen to the music and lyrics, (the concept is) kind of suitable, it makes him look badass."


Tang said he had her concerns about the shoot initially as she thought it would be "raunchy and slutty".

The 24-year-old said: "I cleared it up with Shigga and to be honest, a tank top and hot shorts is what I exercise in, so it was pretty normal.

"I think there is a fine line between sexy and slutty, and I don't think I crossed the line. It's more cute than anything. It's kind of like a guy's high-school fantasy, rather than a guy's wet dream."

A less eye-popping aspect of the video is that it was filmed in one long take.

Shigga Shay's crew did the take more than 30 times before they nailed it.

He said: "It's always been a big challenge to shoot something in one take, and it's been something I wanted to try. If anyone started laughing or forgot her role or position, we had to do it again.

"Everyone in the song was performing for those four minutes or so. It was a team effort in order to achieve that perfect shot."


This article was first published on March 17, 2015.
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