September 15, 2010
Over a Year Later, mtvU Lifts Ban on Invincible's "Ropes" Video
Back in early 2009, Invincible sent mtvU her video for the song featuring Tiombe Lockhart, “Ropes,” off her debut LP ShapeShifters. The song was written to help bring awareness to issues regarding depression and mental health, and the accompanying music video directed by Mr. Complex is a strong cinematic statement that should have made “Ropes” a shoo-in for getting placement on mtvU. Shortly after submitting a final version of the video, the folks at MTV let Invincible know that her video was approved to air. Unfortunately, MTV's Standards Department stepped in and rejected the video at the last minute on the basis that the video was "problematic" and had "suicidal undertones."
The video went on to garner tens of thousands of views on online video-sharing websites. The mtvU rejection became a story in itself as media outlets such as Salon, True/Slant, and All Hip Hop blasted MTV for their decision and Invincible's supporters sent personal letters to MTV demanding that the video be played. It's taken some time, but nearly a year and a half later, "Ropes" is premiering on mtvU. The video found supporters at Half Of Us, a project housed within MTV that confronts issues of mental health on college campuses. Half Of Us joined the chorus of people championing "Ropes," leading to a resolution with MTV: the Standards Department lifted their ban and cleared the video for airtime, and now "Ropes" is airing on mtvU and mtvU.com as part of the Half Of Us campaign.
Check out more groups and artists doing work around these issues: