Whip My Hair

Album: Willow: You Think You Know Me (2010)
Charted: 2 11
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This kid-friendly club banger is the first single released by Willow Smith, the daughter of actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Willow already has dipped her toes in the entertainment industry having made her acting debut at the age of 6, starring alongside her father in 2007's I Am Legend. Her credits also include voice-over work for the animated feature Madagascar 2.
  • Willow was just nine-years-old when she recorded this song, which was produced by newcomer Jukebox and released on Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. Jay-Z said that he first heard the track before he knew it had been recorded by a 9-year-old. "I was like, 'Man, that record's a smash.' And then [Roc Nation partner] Jay Brown said, 'She's 9,' and I was like, 'Whoa!' And [then] he was like, 'She's Will and Jada's daughter,' and I was like, 'Whoa!' and it just went from there."
  • In this song, Willow tells the ladies to snap their heads "back and forth" and whip that hair like a helicopter. During an interview on On-Air With Ryan Seacrest, Willow explained the song's meaning. She said, "it means just be an individual. Like, you can't be afraid to be yourself, you have to be yourself, and you can't let anyone tell you that that's wrong."
  • The song's music video was shot in Los Angeles the week of September 20, 2010 and was directed by Ray Kay, whose other credits include Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and Justin Bieber's "Baby." It features a colorful concept in which Willow dons several hairstyles which act as paintbrushes to enliven a drab school. Willow told MTV News she "liked it" but admitted the filming could be intense at times. "It was a long day. It was hard sometimes, but, like, if you have a commitment to that, you have to stick with it," she said.

    The clip features some hair-lashing kids whom Willow has dubbed the Warriorettes. She explained to MTV News: "Me and my mom first came up with Willowettes, and then we came up with Warriorettes. It takes a warrior to stand up for themselves and not let anybody tell them that what they're wearing or what they're saying or what they're doing is wrong."
  • Soulja Boy took to his Twitter page to claim that he is the man responsible for this song. "Yes it's true I wrote Willow Smith's 'Whip My Hair.' That's why she says 'Hop Up Out The Bed, Turn My Swag On,' he tweeted. "We get $$$ [in] 2011 no games."

    The actual credited songwriters are Ronald 'Jukebox' Jackson and Janae Rockwell, and we suspect the Atlanta rapper's grief is that Jackson and Rockwell borrowed the line "hop out the bed, turn my swag on" from his hit "Turn My Swag On" for this song.
  • Near the end of a concert to promote her 2021 album Lately I Feel Everything Willow Smith treated fans to a rocked up version of this song. While she was singing and shredding a guitar solo, her hairstylist came up behind her and began shaving her head. Smith continued to perform her guitar solo flawlessly, and by the end of the song, her head was completely shaved.

    "When I made 'Whip My Hair,' I didn't know it was an important thing because I was just expressing my joy, expressing myself. Young Willow was just so fearless," she said in a preview interview.

    Smith added that this is the third time she has shaved her head: "I'm always shaving my head at monumental times in my life, when things are really changing, and this is one of those moments."

Comments: 1

  • Siahara Shyne from UsPerfect for me , Because I have super long hair now lol THE SONG IS SO POWERFUL !IT makes me dance
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' Albums

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.