All My Strut Songs Are Sung by Children

by Blanca Mendez

Once in the not so distant past Beyoncé and Lady Gaga were my go-to ladies when I needed to own the sidewalk. If “Video Phone” was blaring from my headphones, it was a sign to get out of my way. Recently, however, my tastes have taken a decidedly juvenile turn. My last strut song was Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” but that’s a total jam, so it was kind of inevitable. Before “Whip My Hair” I was strutting to “Can’t Be Tamed” by Miley Cyrus, which, to be fair, was Miley’s adult debut but doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been a fan of hers since the Hannah Montana days. But now, now I’m strutting to “Pink and Purple,” 10-year-old Lyrikkal’s take on Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow,” and it is amazing.

Because if a kid’s going to take the already-perfect “Black and Yellow” and make it about “feeling like a real princess,” I can’t help it. Watch how she slides into her Mercedes all nonchalant and rocks her pink shades at the park with her crew like it’s NBD. She and her friends are selling the “Pink and Purple” lifestyle. Kanye needs to tell Lyrikkal that no one girl should have all that swagger, because she is putting us all to shame.

I do still enjoy music that’s appropriate for people my age to listen to, but there’s something about these young pop stars and how they’re so much cooler than my adult self (or any of the adults that I know, really) that makes me turn my swag on when I’m walking to the bus stop. In Willow’s case, it might just be the awesome Smith genes, but if she can single-handedly turn a monochrome cafeteria into a party, and if Lyrikkal can make hanging out at the park look even more fun than Willow’s party, then maybe I can be, if not cooler, than at least a little more put together. Like, I could maybe do a lint check before leaving my apartment.

Blanca Méndez is a freelance writer and cat sitter who lives in Brooklyn. She reads the Internet and sometimes writes there, too.