After a year stuck inside and nearly unseen thanks to COVID, ladies everywhere vowed summer 2021 would be the absolute Hot Girl Summer. The season may not have lived up to the hype for everyone (such as myself), but it certainly did for at least one woman: Mj Rodriguez.
The actress and singer, best known for her starring role in the hit FX show Pose, kicked off the summer by releasing her debut single, the funk-infused pop song “Something to Say,” in June, then landed an Emmy nomination in July for her role in Pose – becoming the first transgender woman to receive a nomination in the lead acting category. And now, as if to not let the end of summer come and go quietly either, Rodriguez dropped her first music video.
The video is for “Something to Say,” and like the song itself – a feel-good inspirational bop about standing up for yourself and different people coming together to spread love – the video is a gem. Directed by Dano Cerny, it capitalizes on throwback nostalgia and Rodriguez’s personal charisma to deliver the kind of warm fun well-suited for the end of summer in troubling times.
At its core, the video is a gorgeous four-minute showcase of all the feminine elegance and sexiness Rodriguez has to offer, as she alternates between the classic music video aesthetic of hot women in short shorts and crop tops dancing around cars, and a more glamorous aesthetic of herself donned in high-fashion dresses and voguing. With the outfits, vibrant colors, and golden hour-lit backdrop, the car scenes deliciously evoke iconic 90s music videos.
Though despite the visual connection, it seems Rodriguez wasn’t trying to link the music video to her acting life, as the video and song were released under a different name, Michaela Jaé. Rodriguez explained to People that she sees Mj Rodriguez as the “prestigious, classy, well put together actress” part of her and Michaela Jaé as the “diva…shark… songstress” part of her. So, the woman voguing in the video isn’t a version of Rodriguez’s Pose character Blanca Rodriguez, the fierce and enterprising House member-turned-Mother, but rather, Mj Rodriguez’s own inner diva.
That’s good news for Pose fans, though, because while Pose ended this year with a series finale capping a three-season run in June, it will live on in Rodriguez’s future work and music. And if the song “Something to Say” and its accompanying video is any indication, Rodriguez’s music career – and general time in the spotlight – is just beginning. That’s something we can all get down with.