A female rapper in Saudi Arabia made a huge splash in her native country after dropping a music video that celebrated the lifting on a ban that prohibited women from driving.
Following the end of the decades-old ban on June 24th, rapper Leesa A hopped behind the wheel of a Hyundai to film the video for a track that touted her driving independence.
“I don’t need anyone to take me / Drivers’ licence with me,” Leesa A says on the track, the BBC reports. ” I am not kidding, today I can drive myself. The steering wheel in my hands, the pedal under my foot.”
The video soon went viral in Saudi Arabia, accumulating over 1.5 million views on YouTube and Instagram combined. The BBC reports that Leesa A had a small social media following prior to the video, which ends comically with the newly behind-the-wheel rapper running into some beginner drivers issues.
Last September, Saudi Arabia announced it would cease the ban that prevented women from driving automobiles; Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that banned women from driving. The ban, a longtime target for women’s rights activists, became a symbol of defiance in the country, with many women posting videos on social media of themselves driving in recent years.
Rapper M.I.A. commented on the Saudi women’s defiant response to the ban with her “Bad Girls” video, although even that video was shot in Morocco as she feared arrest if it was actually filmed in Saudi Arabia.