Karena Evans, The Brains Behind Drake's 'Nice For What' Video

Karena Evans, The Brains Behind Drake's 'Nice For What' Video

The brains behind this amazing video, Karena Evans, is quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought-after directors. She's a triple threat, as she is a multifaceted director, actor and writer, who began her rise as an intern for veteran music video director, Director X. Her visual style is cinematic, narrative-heavy and completely full of human spirit — as we saw through her work in Drake's "God's Plan" video and, now, "Nice For What". 

She was the first female recipient of the Prism Prize’s Lipsett Award for her innovative approach to directing music videos, and this is one of the highest music video honours in Canada. Through her work, she shows why it's so important to have female music video directors — to give them a bit more range than simply having scantily-clad women in a club with the men flaunting their riches.

 Not to undermine male directors, but the sheer brilliance of the video has a lot to do with the fact that the director is a woman, as she manages to connect to many other women by showing these stars, who we look up to, looking great. They're not sexualised or idealised, and are shown in their true element which definitely resonates more — Issa Rae commanding caucasian men to sit down is a forever mood!

The song itself is fire, thanks in no small part to the 1998 Lauryn Hill track it samples, "Ex-Factor."

The hook on "Nice For What" is catchy, just like Hill's original – which, as Billboard notes – sampled the Wu-Tang Clan's "Can It Be All So Simple," which sampled "The Way We Were/Try To Remember" by Gladys Knight & The Pips.

Drake made a song about fly women doing their own thing, with fly independent women in the video, directed by a fly independent woman over a beat sampling Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor"  This is basically Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" as a rap song.

CREDITS

DIRECTOR Karena Evans, PRODUCER Javier Alejandro, PRODUCER Fuliane Petikyan, PRODUCER Stefano Moses, PRODUCTION COMPANY Popp Rokk, UK PRODUCTION COMPANY Luti Media, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Taj Critchlow, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Luti Fagbenle, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Berenice Eveno

CAST

Yara Shahidi, Zoe Saldana, Elizabeth Lejonhjarta, Victoria Lejonhjarta, Letitia Wright, Bria Vinaite, Emma Roberts, Syd, Olivia Wilde, Misty Copeland, Issa Rae, Rashida Jones, Jourdan Dunn, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tiffany Haddish, Michelle Rodriguez.

April 23, 2018