It’s hard enough as it is today to see queer representation in media, but back in the late ’80s, it was much harder. So, Alabama rapper Chika is bringing that representation to one of her favorite shows from that era.
In her latest video for “Can’t Explain It,” Chika transports her viewers back to Hillman College (now appropriately renamed HillMayne) for her new interpretation of the classic ’90s sitcom A Different World. For the video, Chika takes on the role of Dwayne Wayne, complete with the iconic flip-up glasses, as she vies for the affections of her very own “Whitley”.
Chika tells Billboard that she saw an opportunity with her video to take A Different World and “reimagine an iconic black love story from a queer gaze like mine.” As for the spot-on look for her Dwayne Wayne character, the star credits her stylist Icon Billingsley for helping her create the right kind of vibe.
Along with referencing a favorite TV show of hers, Chika also got to work with R&B legend Charlie Wilson on both the song and video, which she says was a major honor. “Charlie Wilson is the purest soul I’ve ever worked with,” she says. “He was so kind and there to make the song everything I wanted. He’s a legend. I can’t pick a favorite, that’s a crime.”