Blackness, Nudeness, and Thinking Critically

bloom

Timothy Bloom featuring V. Bozeman, ‘Til the End of Time

As you can imagine, I’ve got plenty to say about Timothy Bloom’s new video “‘Til the End of Time,” but rather than offering my own reading of this video and the message its sending through its lyrical content, I’m just going to ask a few questions that came up for me and hope you’ll consider them when you watch it for the first, second and third time.

Let’s start from the top.

  • Where are they? What’s the context? You remember in school when your teacher would talk about the importance of looking for context clues? Well, what are the clues in this video that would help us make sense of it? Is it purposeful that there is no context?
  • Why are they naked? If you’re naked the first time you are talking about making a baby, that’s kinda late, right?
  • Are there other ways that Black men and women relate to one another other than in the context of sex?  And if so, where are those depictions?

Booooooy, put it inside of me/Go ahead and inplant your seed until the end of time/
And aaahhhhh… if you should die tomorrow/seed will live on inside of me.

  • What exactly is she talking about? Does it at all sound like a weird way to say “let’s have a baby”? Think about it literally and figuratively.   Literally: if this man dies–or if leaves her–his “seed,” the part of him that aides in the growth of another being will live (and grow) inside of her forever.  Okay.. so what does that mean? Figuratively: perhaps she’ll remember that dude for a long time after having sex with him.
  • But isn’t the general use of the word “seed” in the context of sex in reference to semen?  So, “implant your seed” means that they aren’t using condoms… which seems like an awful thing to do, because what if that dude does leave you?
  • Assuming the song is about two committed people having children, which would make some sense in the context of their naked bodies (babies come out naked), when you and your partner sit down and discuss having children, is it a deeper conversation than “I want you to remember me”?
  • Is this song/video so beautiful that it makes you forget that typically, women in heterosexual relationships are burdened with an unequal amount of reproductive labor, i.e. they spend way too much time “remembering” their kids and their partners, and not enough taking care of (remembering) themselves.  Do you think at all about the unequal distribution of power between men and women on a larger scale when you watch this?
  • Let’s just say that the video is hot, it’s only about good sex, and it’s just not that deep “Doctor” Lane… then what is its purpose? I mean, why make it? There’s plenty of videos and songs, and whole industries dedicated to that.
  • And then, let’s assume it is deep and is meant to send a message and does exist in a particular context where homosexual bodies continue to be policed, continue to be deemed “unnatural” because they don’t “reproduce,” and some people really think that sex can only happen between a man and a woman, and the AIDS/HIV crisis, is still a crisis and STDs are real but you have folks who would deny teenagers and grown people in prison condoms, and Planned Parenthood is in danger not existing in the next year or so, and feminist are fighting tooth and nail for Roe v. Wade… In that context, what then does this video mean?

The above questions are meant to aide you in the consideration that popular culture isn’t produced in a vacuum.  I don’t have all the answers to the questions I asked, I only know that it’s a good idea to ask them especially when Blackness and (hetero)sexuality are being deployed.

Enjoy and do me a favor, think critically.

1 reply
  1. King says:

    Lyrically the song seemed to point toward long-term commitment and a lasting love. As for the nudity, in the video, although they looked nude, they did it in a way that shows much less than the photo you are displaying above on this website. You never see butt cheeks or breasts because of the way it is shot.

    I’m not saying that I agree with the apparent nudity, but it does seem better and more tastefully done than many a rap video where women were half-clothed but gyrating suggestively.

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