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Robyn Crushes Gender Stereotypes in New Video for 'U Should Know Better'


While Robyn is diligently working on her next project, the Swedish pop pixie decided to film a video for "U Should Know Better" that she unleashed on YouTube this morning. The song first appeared on Robyn's Body Talk Part 2 EP back in 2010, but packs a powerful message that still rings true today. Playfully rapping and raving together with Snoop Dogg, Robyn spits lyrics about equality and female empowerment. "We need a black pope and she better be a woman," she argues. 

Robyn explains in a previous interview with Billboard that she had fun working with Snoop Dogg on the track. "It was really cool to be able to be in the studio with him," she says. "First because I always was a fan but also because he was really creative and we had so much of an exchange in being there together, both as vocalists. I had an idea and he really got it and got into it, which was awesome."

Robyn collaborated with her long long-time stylist and choreographer Decida of 2FACED1 on the video concept for "U Should Know Better." 2FACED1 is best described as a movement that aims to crush existing stereotypes related to ethnicity, color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and class so people can choose to be whoever they want.

The video plays right into that notion of transnational identities and explores what would happen if Robyn and Snoop swapped genders, backgrounds and locations. Robyn explains in a press release, "Decida came along for a part of the European tour I was doing, we had dinner, drinks and laughs with Decida´s friend Pernilla and we were talking about how much Pernilla looks like Snoop. It was there and then that Decida and I decided to pursue our idea of making a video for 'U Should Know Better' where Snoop and I switch gender."

Decida agrees with Robyn and explains how much fun they had exploring the video's concept. "Hopefully the 'U Should Know Better' video sparks some laughs, but also thoughts on what identity really is. Would you be the same person in another context? Does society have certain expectations of a person based on class, gender, colour, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and cultural background? How much do these expectations then affect your so called self?

"I kind of like the idea that we grow up in a transnational pop cultural mosh pit were you can choose who you want to be instead. All of this is what our 2FACED1 project is about, to know identity is dependent on context and therefore is something fluid."

Robyn explains that finding a little Robyn took a little time that delayed the making of the video. "Tyler came to a casting we held in London and I felt like we had found our guy," she says. "Even though 'U Should Know Better' was released a couple of years back on Body Talk Pt 2, I wanted to make this video now anyway because the song is still banging and we had too much fun with this video idea to just sit on it."

June 21, 2013 | Permalink