‘Bandz a Make Her Dance’ music video sparks high school controversy

Juicy J and Lil Wayne in the "Bandz a Maker Her Dance" music video (Source: TheJuicyJVEVO YouTube page)

Juicy J and Lil Wayne in the "Bandz a Maker Her Dance" music video (Source: TheJuicyJVEVO YouTube page)

The Miami-Dade School Board is not happy with the recent release of Juicy J’s raunchy “Bandz a Make Her Dance” music video.

In August, school leaders approved a request from producers for members of Miami Northwestern High School’s band, the Marching Bulls, to appear in the video. The school believed band members would be performing in a drum line and were surprised when an explicit, strip club-themed video debuted on Sunday.

Six band members, wearing their official uniforms and bearing the MNW emblem, were featured in the video, in which Juicy J, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz rapped about pole dancing as barely-dresssed women danced around them.

The school district’s attorneys say the video had “unauthorized publication of likeness of students” and violated Northwestern Bulls trademarks, the Miami Herald reported.

“It’s just outrageous to think you have an individual take advantage of a school and students for a video,” Northwestern Principal Wallace Aristide said. “They’re playing their instruments and thinking it’s something innocent, wearing our uniforms, only later to find out they edited the video with racy content.”

The video was shot in August and the band students were filmed in front of a blue screen by themselves, according to a spokesman for the school district. The students were not filmed with the women in the video at any point.

Lil Wayne’s attorney Ronald Sweeney has come out and said that the rapper did not participate in the production beyond his own cameo. He wrote a letter to Sony’s general counsel asking them to remove the students from the video.

“We do not own or control any of the rights to the video and have no interest other than a publishing interest in the new version of the song,” Sweeney wrote.

The Juicy J single is currently number 9 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It has sold 39,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Local Miami attorney Thomas Julin said it might be difficult to make a legal case if there was no written agreement made and that common law right of publicity is a complicated issue.

“Ordinarily, you have control over your own likeness when it’s used in advertising. But if it’s used in some other expressive work, other than advertising, then it’s more difficult to stop that use,” Julin said.

District administrators are currently reviewing the situation.

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