I’ve been loving Becky G’s run on Empire as Valentina Galindo, the lead singer of hilariously-named trio “Mirage A Trois” who’s been using her wiles on Hakeem to ramp up her stature. (She says she’s not, but we know the drill.) In part because Becky from the Block is all of 18 now, and it’s nice to see her taking on more complex outlets and expanding her persona which, up til recently, has been pretty squeaky clean.

Her debut TV role on America’s favorite soap dovetails nicely with her latest song, “Break A Sweat,” a cheery boner jam that employs a pep squad chorus to ensure her man puts in work. There’s something very Stefani about the drumline—Dr. Luke’s the evil mastermind behind it, and as ever he crafted a perfect pastiche of already-familiar songs to ensure the track will have you on radio-friendly lockdown—and the video is somewhat Stefani-esque, too, insofar that one scene has her frolicking through a Tumblrfied, candy-colored forest as she shills cosmetics by Cover Girl, of which she is one. (Generally I love Cover Girl as a brand, as it’s an affordable drugstore make-up that hires women of color as its muses, but just once in the oughties I’d love to see a major-label artist not using their videos to shill product—Core brand bottled water also makes a prominent appearance. But then again, perhaps shilling is the savviest and most cynical move of all, a blatant and tacit acknowledgement that pop stars are selling us everything from lip balm to dreams by design.)

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The styling is great, though! Becky’s wearing a skirt from one of my favorite designers of all time, the Parisian collective Andrea Crews, which focuses on activist art and often repurposes recycled clothing for its designs. She’s also got cornrows and baby hairs, which is a bit more complicated depending on whether you believe it’s because of the newfound, appropriative “coolness” of rows and baby hairs, or if she’s giving a shout out to chola style—Becky is a Mexican-American from Inglewood, after all, and while gelled baby hairs have their own history with Latinas of all different stripes globally (shout to Afro-Latinas!), chola rows represent more of a cultural exchange, in my estimation.

Something to always be thinking about! After Becky struts through a fantastical, Future Brown-style Inglewood in her rows, she hangs out with different groups of friends (boy dancers on gilded, branded razor scooters [ZIKE, another produce placement]; televisions with flames emitting from them) and runs through the choreography, not her strongest point but it’ll do. Becky G’s a tiny teen titan, and I’m glad she’s out here thriving.


Contact the author at julianne@jezebel.com.