By David T. Valentin
As an homage to women empowerment, during the 2023 BAFTA Awards Ariana DeBose performed to congratulate all of the women at the awards ceremony while highlighting the women who won that night.
The catchy rap song was sung by DeBose in between her covers of “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” by Aretha Franklin and Eurhythmics and “We are Family” by Sister Sledge. And while she features actresses like Charlotte Wells, Georgia Helen, and Katy Brand, the real fun begins with the phrase, “All the ladies in the room, supporting and leading I presume.”
“Hong Chau, Dolly D, Kerry, and Cary. Dame Emma, I’m so fond. Ana, girl you were great in Blonde. Danielle D, you broke my heart. Michelle, I loved you from the start.”
Then comes the part you’ve all been waiting for—the part that has surely been ingrained into your head by now. Arian DeBose raps, “Angela Bassett did the thing. Viola Davis my woman king. Blanchett, Cate—you’re a genius. And Jamie Lee, you are all of us!”
While we’re not exactly sure why Jamie Lee is all of us or why DeBose switched up Cate Blanchett’s name (probably to rhyme), the performance and the song are so ridiculously camp that it’s both serious and hysterical at the same time.
In the days to follow the BAFTA awards, countless amount of memes have come out of the internet highlighting the unique campiness of Ariana DeBose rap.
Unfortunately, the earlier videos about the rap highlighted the strange “terribleness” of Ariana DeBose’s rap. Early comments were not celebratory but more insulting—asking why she was an award-winning actress out of breath for singing and rapping “a few lines.” In response, Ariana DeBose deleted her Twitter for the time being.
But not to fret—at the 2023 SAG Awards, when presenting the list of nominees alongside Diego Luna, Ariana DeBose instructed, “Do the thing.” The goofy moment was made even better when the camera cut to Angela Bassett, clearly in on the joke.
When Bassett herself accepted her award for Entertainer of the Year at the NAACP awards, she exclaimed, “I guess Angela Bassett did the thing!” thus bringing the joke full circle.
I think we can all say, Ariana DeBose’s rap will most likely be the most culturally significant thing to come out of 2023. How the hell is anything else going to beat it?