Athletic and flirty, roller skating makes doing things during the day look fun. Unfortunately, segregation at rinks still exists but has been disguised as designated skating times like ”Urban” or “Adult” Night. Still, roller skating remains a staple of Black culture and Black music.
The music video for de La Soul’s “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’” highlights this cultural significance with indoor and outdoor skating. Whether it’s outdoors or indoors, it does not matter. Day skating makes doing things during the day look fun.
The music video for Mariah Carey’s 1995 bop “Fantasy” features the singer skating and riding roller coasters during the day on the boardwalk before the party that night.
Modern-day roller skating has remnants of its Victorian era functions. Back then, women and men could not do much together in public. But the 2014 music video for Beyoncé’s “Blow” illustrates that roller skating’s Victorian hangups are in the past.
Is this a roller rink or a nightclub? There is just something about skating around in a big crowd, and music videos like the ones for 702’s “Star” and Kelis’ “Good Stuff”capture this feeling well.
For visual story-telling, roller skating can be a striking motif. That’s why the official lyrics video for “Tragedy” by Norah Jones, in which a woman dressed as a waitress skates in a rink alone, is so sad.
Then in the music video for “Gold” by Chet Faker, a group of women angelically skate down an empty highway at night before a car accident is revealed.
Up-beat songs pair well with one of America’s favorite past times, but so does the blues.