Music Video: Strip
Miki Vale is an emcee, a State Department cultural ambassador, a DJ,
and one half of the duo Fifty50 along with Queen Kandi Cole.

Visuals by Arash Afshar
Words by Karen Kaye

STRIP (Official Video)
Prod.: R33
Director: (mr)Arash for #thefreshstate
Makeup by: Steph J Styles
Alicia Monèt
Alicia Antonia Thornton
Amora Griñán
Anita Dias
Nalei'a Brackett

/ Magazine / March 2019 / Strip Video

Miki Vale of Fifty50 is the kind of woman I wish I could be. She’s shamelessly open. Courageously vulnerable. Without hesitation, she will “take her cool off and let it drop to the floor”. She’s not into games or playing it cool. She doesn’t have to front - and she doesn’t want to.

“Stripped Down” by Miki Vale and Queen Kandi Cole of Fifty50 is more than a song with a captivating, seductive beat. It was a call to action to my soul. This song has meaning.

This is a beautifully crafted song of unconditional love and acceptance. Of non-judgement. Of embracing another human soul, despite it being wholly imperfect, wounded, gun shy and hesitant. It’s the song of someone who is ready to overwhelm you with the pure love you never thought you deserved.

Imagine someone showing up with a vessel of the most vibrant, rich, golden nectar you can imagine. All they want is to pour you a cup, and keep it full for you. And you have a cup, but you have a lid on it. All they want is for you to take that lid off. You take that lid off and Miki and Queen Kandi will pour you a cup.

At first, this song made me wonder how much I am blocking people from giving me that nectar. That’s a nectar I crave. That nectar is where we connect, feel nourished at our soul and feel bonded by sharing the sweetness of another.

For some people it’s easier to get physically naked than spiritually naked. It’s easy to bare your body, but not your mind and soul.

The second you ask someone to get real with you, things can get weird. Some people show you who they think you want to see. They become who they think you need to see in order to keep you around.

Other times, they just bail on you. The second things get real, I’ve seen people unfriend, unfollow, block, ghost, and fade away once they are out of their comfort zone. Few people truly talk openly with vulnerability and their own inner thoughts. We parrot others words, we share memes and posts and articles, but few are sharing their own unique inner thoughts. Instead, we like, love and share what belongs to someone else but isn’t our own.

The Stripped Down video, produced by R33 and directed by Arash Afshar, adds even more layers to the song. We follow several different woman, moving through a house alone. We see the vulnerability of each woman removing layers of clothing and stripping down to bare essentials… making herself at home.

Here, the song felt like a message from a woman’s own soul– asking her to get real with herself, to get naked, real and embrace who she really is without the makeup, clothes and attitude that we all put on to define ourselves to the outer world. It felt like the song was asking me to stop fronting with myself and accept who I truly am.

Maybe this song isn’t just about getting stripped down for another person. Maybe it’s also about getting real with myself. When I am alone, in my own space, can I truly be honest with myself? Can I face the rawness of what I really feel and think and need? How good do I truly feel in my own skin?

That was (and still is) one of the hardest things in my life. Just being honest with myself. And if I’m not honest with myself and at peace with what I find in that space, I am definitely not being real with someone else.

After talking with Miki about the song, I realized that getting stripped down starts with myself. Maybe it is time to expose myself and be vulnerable, be my human self. And maybe that’s the very thing I need to finally feel that fierce, unconditional love Mike and Queen Kandi mean when they say, “Strip down let me see your beautiful soul.”

It’s time to strip down, and be loved for the wholeness of who we are, wounds and all.

Karen Kaye

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