August 16, 2019
Former Fifth Harmony singer Normani has well and truly arrived, with the release of her new single and music video, Motivation.
Normanis Motivation Music Video: Did You Spot All The 2000s References?
Since the girl group went their separate ways last year, Normani has been keeping fans interested with a few select releases, including collaborations with Khalid, Calvin Harris and Sam Smith, but with Motivation, she proves that she can really shine all by herself.
While the song – co-written by Ariana Grande, who she supported on tour this year – is a sparkly earworm, the video takes things to the next level, with Normani serving us looks and truly impressive choreography.
It’s also a true nostalgia-fest, opening with a child Normani watching BET’s 106 & Park, before the grown-up singer takes us through a series of scenes that pay homage to great music videos from the 2000s and late 1990s that have inspired her as an artist.
Here are the biggest references in Normani’s Motivation music video...BeyoncéNormani Gave early 2000 crazy in love vibes with a side of representation... i have to Stan https://t.co/RCata9NXks— Harold Taylor (@iv__taylor) August 16, 2019NORMANI GIVING ME SOME BEYONCE CRAZY IN LOVE VIBES #Motivation 👏🏾👀❤️🎉 YESS GIRL TAKE US BACK TO THE DAYS pic.twitter.com/doTt3wU3tL— Nephar (@Nephar2) August 16, 2019Normani serving Crazy In Love. I have to stan. pic.twitter.com/4iGZ3io2NH— grant 🧔🏻 (@urdadssidepiece) August 16, 2019Normani gave us 'Crazy In Love' and if y'all remember,solo Bey told y'all she was coming for ha things like this. This is Mani's message to y'all. Insure your edges. pic.twitter.com/CmWj8nfpS5— 🔭👁️ᎳᎪᎽᎠᎬ (@TALLCHIHUAHUA) August 16, 2019in every generation there is a chosen one. she alone will stand against the ed sheerans, the borepop and the forces of darkness. she is the slayer. pic.twitter.com/bLfGdwH7to— 🐽alim kheraj (@alimkheraj) August 16, 2019It’s not difficult to imagine why Normani would want to pay homage to Beyoncé as she launches her solo career after a career in a successful girl group, but she’s actually spoken numerous times about how the Formation singer is her “queen” and “idol”.
Beyoncé has actually been one of Normani’s champions, too, with the ex-Fifth Harmony star detailing a meeting between the two of them at a Roc Nation brunch last year.
“She didn’t even give me a chance to even introduce myself,” Normani said. “She looks at me and she goes, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve been waiting so long to meet you… you keep doing your thing, I’m really proud of you, I’m watching you’.”
Also, it says a lot about Beyoncé’s star power that a literal white vest top, probably the plainest of all garments, is still an obvious reference to her.Jennifer Lopez come through “i’m real” Jennifer Lopez teas! yassss @Normani 💕 https://t.co/GyZ1fFQmo1— lupe fiasco cunt. (@ohhecuntcunt) August 16, 2019Is no one gonna take about when @Normani#Motivation was at the basketball court it looked just like JLo and Ja rule’s music video I’m real. Loving it and. I’m pretty sure she got some inspiration from TLC. Damn— babylolo (@babylol07605114) August 16, 2019FUN FACT: the basketball scene in normani's #motivation video was filmed at the same location as Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule's "I'm Real" video 💁— bawbby. (@bawbbysworld) August 16, 2019I thought I saw a “I’m Real” video reference for Normani’s video, but I couldn’t tell where that clip was from.— A ❤️⚓️ (@PettyBLKFem) August 16, 2019It’s literally a ref. to JaRule & Ashanti (jlo) - i’m Real music video sis... pic.twitter.com/rBWXYBHDyW— donnie phantasm (@donnivicious) August 16, 2019A later scene in the video shows Normani performing in a basketball court, in what many have interpreted as a nod to Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule’s remix of her track I’m Real, a staple of both TRL and 106 & Park back in those halcyon days of the early 1990s.
And speaking of that basketball court scene, can we please just take a moment to appreciate Normani’s absolute skills… only Normani can be a basketball player and a ballerina at the same time, HER MIND yeah she is the supreme bitch pic.twitter.com/xkr1w45NsC— Dinna🕸️ (@superiorlatinax) August 15, 2019Sensational.Britney SpearsThis Normani video is giving me Britney Baby On More Time vibes with these schoolyard dancing/tumbling scenes. #Motivationpic.twitter.com/ziCfjRrBhB— Sarah (@sarahtalksmedia) August 16, 2019Normani serving Britney debut omg pic.twitter.com/uILYS3p2qC— . (@BLlNKRISE) August 15, 2019I see references to @Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love' and @britneyspears' '...Baby One More Time' videos. @normani is what was missing in music, good production, good voice, good visuals, good performances... the complete package.#Motivation 🔥— Leonardo Toulier (@leonardotoulier) August 16, 2019Omg Normani honoring Britney? This X-Factor storyline coming full circle! pic.twitter.com/8ctWMLgxBz— 🎀Puthy🎀 (@ChampagnePuthy) August 16, 2019Did anyone catch Normani’s basketball scene give two Britney Spears references?!— Whitty from the City... (@whitakergr33n) August 16, 2019Of course, another famous music video with a dance section set on a basketball court is Britney’s 1998 debut, ...Baby One More Time.
While it’s the schoolgirl outfit that really stuck in people’s mind, we were immediately put in mind of Britney in her bunches and pink crop-top when we saw Normani dancing on the court.
Normani has also previously admitted she’s a fan of both Britney and this song, while both ...Baby One More Time and Motivation were both co-written by pop superproducer Max Martin, albeit more than 20 years apart. Britney was also a judge on X Factor when Normani first auditioned, before the formation of Fifth Harmony.Kelly RowlandThe final sequence of the Motivation music video sees Normani dancing with a male dancer (and a troupe of dancers) in a suburban street at night time, putting us immediately in mind of the last scene in Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s 2002 duet Dilemma.
And as it turns out, we weren’t the only ones picking up on that reference...the references in this video... Normani said I’m giving you crazy in love. I’m giving you ...baby one more time. I’m giving you dilemma I’m giving you NOSTALGIA and y’all are gonna like it!— under construction (@kirkxxs) August 16, 2019@Normani gave us “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, “Dilemma” by Kelly Rowland, and “Baby One Time” in ONE VIDEO!!! GO STREAM!! #Motivationhttps://t.co/hPLyiB88qH— . (@ARIxBARBIE) August 16, 2019Crazy in LoveI’m realBaby One More TimeDilemmaTouchYoYou got it badNORMANI IS PAYING HOMAGE WITH THISSSS #MotivationOUTNOW— ᴺ𝐋𝐞𝐬𝐥𝐢𝐞. (@kehlanilaurmani) August 16, 2019I got some mad Kelly Rowland vibes. It brings me back to a good and happy time. Thank you for making such lovely music.— Gay (@lettucebecool) August 16, 2019Giving me ALL the throwback Dilemma, Crazy In Love, Umbrella vibes 😭 love it https://t.co/wGHKFzheVR— IV (@chrismvneilis) August 16, 2019Similarly to her love of Beyoncé, Normani has long been a fan of Kelly’s, excitingly tweeting about having met her in the early years of Fifth Harmony back in 2013…SOOOO I MET KELLY ROWLAND AND ALL I DID WAS LITERALLY SMILED WHILE TEARS CAME DOWN MY FACE LIKE A SCARY PERSON ILOVEYOUUU GIRL— Normani (@Normani) November 15, 2013Ciaranormani said thank u to all the women that came ahead of her, the only name i don’t think i have seen mentioned is ciara’s - the scene with her dancing in the street with everyone sat on the porch reminds me of the ‘1, 2 step’ vid okay thank u bye— G (@oneofthosefaces) August 16, 2019SOOOO I MET KELLY ROWLAND AND ALL I DID WAS LITERALLY SMILED WHILE TEARS CAME DOWN MY FACE LIKE A SCARY PERSON ILOVEYOUUU GIRL— Normani (@Normani) November 15, 2013@Normani Says That Her New Video for "Motivation" was Insipired by The 2000s and Its Awesome Seeing a Few @Ciara References/Inpirations. Normani is So Talented and Love That She Pays Homage! pic.twitter.com/GNHPg32ww0— Taylor Payne (@TaylorPayne_92) August 16, 2019Normani is Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Ciara rolled in to one person https://t.co/QfiXFPtBCP— Shelbs (@ShelbsAGee) August 16, 2019Also there’s a lot of Ciara all up and through this video. Ugh Normani has all the right DNA from all the right girls and chyle she’s coming out harder. She’s really next in line for the throne pic.twitter.com/tuPYWR8Kek— CASSIUS CRUZ ® 🍒 (@CRUELCASSIUS) August 16, 2019Normani embodied Beyoncé, Ciara, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, allll in ONE i’m shook 😭 this girl is going places— Johanna C.M. (@whoisjohanna) August 16, 2019Those exterior dancing shots also remind viewers of Ciara’s early videos, when the R&B star first broke onto the scene in the early 2000s.
1, 2 Step and Goodies are both being named by both Ciara and Normani’s fans as potential influences, thanks to her 2000s aesthetic, her flawless choreography and the sequence that shows her dancing in the rain.
Even Ciara herself seems impressed with the tribute, tweeting a link to Motivation with the message: “Dope! Get it mama.”Dope! Get it mama ❤️🔥 https://t.co/oGKS7d4hNa— Ciara (@ciara) August 16, 2019Christina AguileraOne influence that we’re surprised we haven’t seen more people talking about on Motivation is Christina Aguilera.
During the sequence that shows Normani and her girls on a sunny street, paying no attention as a rather buff gentleman struts past, very much put us in mind of Xtina and Lil Kim’s female empowerment anthem, Can’t Hold Us Down.Amo lo nuevo de Normani. Musicalmente muy gay anthem. Visualmente Beyoncé + Xtina Can't Hold Us Down. Excelente. 😍— ⭐ TinStar ⭐ (@rotinober) August 16, 2019I haven’t watched the Normani video yet but is it supposed to be an ode to other pop culture moments? I got instant Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé vibes from these screenshots. pic.twitter.com/Rygb2TyLgl— Boyz Eleven Men (@eleven8) August 16, 2019Like Kelly Rowland, Normani also revealed she was a Christina fan during the early days of Fifth Harmony…Christina Aguilera >>>— Normani (@Normani) September 1, 2012Omarion @Normani is soo good oh my god the dance scene that alludes to Touch by Omarion!!!!!! Her mind!! #MOTIVATIONpic.twitter.com/0RacQLMUaQ— b 🇧🇧 (@lovedroughtly) August 16, 2019the two main references i caught were Crazy in Love and Omarion’s “Touch” which are two staples of that 106 and Park era. give Normani her things for this video pls.— akeem jamal. (@KeemYonce) August 16, 2019#normani just gave me all the nostalgia. Was I the only one who was thinking about Omarion's Touch with her dance with the guy dancing?— Teri (@itsteriyaki94) August 16, 2019Here’s what I will say... Normani is outdancing everybody. She looks incredible in this video. I love the homage to “Crazy in Love” and subtle love to Omarion’s “Touch”— Mel Smith (@iamMelsmith) August 16, 2019How many video references do y’all see in Normani Motivation video? I definitely saw the Omarion Touch choreography— Harriet's crown (@musicloverbae2) August 16, 2019Perhaps one of the lesser-known videos referenced in Motivation – at least here in the UK – a lot of fans have pointed out the parallels between Normani dancing with a man in the street to similar scenes in Omarion’s 2004 clip for his song Touch.
Many have noticed that the song was another 106 & Park staple, meaning it completely fits the rest of the video’s vibe.READ MORE... Missy Elliott's Most Memorable Music Videos, As She's Named This Year's VMAs Video Vanguard A Timeline Of Madonna's Career As Told Through Her Most Controversial Music Videos 10 Biggest Snubs And Surprises From This Year's MTV VMAs Nominations
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