In the midst of the “Me Too” movement, Jessie Reyez’s single “Gatekeeper” is a chilling recollection of the sexual harassment she experienced from producer Noel Fisher. The blunt, uncensored lyrics deliver a harrowing message that Reyez refuses to sugarcoat.
Opening in an initially sweet and somewhat timid tone, Reyez delivers the opening verse of, “Girl, tie your hair up if you wanna be a star.” The combination of her calm tone and the slow, smooth beat causes the listeners to immediately do a double take when they realize the horrific and degrading ultimatum that Noel Fisher was offering aspiring female musicians in exchange for fame.
Wasting no time to sweeten the blow, Reyez almost spats the first verse of:
“Oh, I’m the gatekeeper. Spread your legs. Open up. You could be famous.” Leaving the listeners unable to turn away, she sums up her anger towards this assaulting treatment so many women face in the music industry. Further accentuating the shameful proposal of sex in exchange for a career so many people high up in the music industry try to exploit out of young artists, Reyez basically yells the line “Got gold on my dick, girl, don’t you wanna taste it?”
I think this song is one of the most chilling accounts I have ever heard of the sexual exploitation so many women face every day. I think this is a song that needs to be listened to, and Reyez has done an unparalleled job in making this injustice heard.