Ciara was ‘literally in labor’ finishing this song + music video

"I probably could only do each take for like two minutes and then I needed to take a break."

ciara in labor rooted music video

Ciara's new music video "Rooted" is the definition of empowerment.

It features Ciara dancing while very pregnant—her bare bump proudly displayed throughout the video.

She revealed in a behind-the-scenes clip on Instagram that she shot the video in two sections: one two weeks before she delivered Win, her second baby with Russell Wilson, and the second just two days before. "I probably could only do each take for like two minutes and then I'd need to take a break," she says of filming. "It also felt good working, knowing that while I was about to give birth to my newest angel, I was still grinding and making it all happen at the same time."

Ciara - Rooted ft. Ester Dean (Official Video)

Ciara says "Rooted" is a song that celebrates Black joy, according to the Instagram clip. "It celebrates our uniqueness and strength. I was incredibly excited to record this song and make it my own when I heard it." When singer-songwriter Esther Dean first played the song for her, she says, "I just felt something special come over me. … There was a strong feeling of being empowered."

Ciara says she was finishing the song while "literally in labor." It's no surprise then that the video is a powerful ode to Black motherhood. Ciara not only dances while pregnant but her two kids, 3-year-old Sienna and 6-year-old Future Zahir, also make an appearance, as do dozens of other Black mothers with their families. Ciara also specifically shouts out Black breastfeeding with the line "Nutritionin', brown milkin' em," Al Donato of HuffPost writes.

"Rooted" also celebrates Black culture and history. The lyrics include shoutouts to civil rights figures, like Harriet Tubman—"Got the heart, got the soul like Harriet / A queen since she born, that was evident / That's evidence of black excellence"—and Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

It highlights the current Black Lives Matter movement with videos of protests and a mural dedicated to the late civil rights leader, Sen. John Lewis. It shows someone wearing a t-shirt that says "Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor" in remembrance of a Black woman killed by police who entered her home using a no-knock warrant.

The end of the video is a powerful call to action: "To all my young Rosa's and young Luther's, keep marching," text reads. "Don't stop fighting for what you believe in. To all my Black Queens and Black Kings, continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride in your tribe. Everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you. Stay rooted."

The video then says that a portion of its proceeds will go to support grant-makers for girls of color.

Jo Yurcaba is a writer and editor living in central North Carolina. They cover women's health, LGBTQ+ rights, and politics. When they're not writing, they're usually riding horses or eating lots of southern food.

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