How Chlöe’s ‘Have Mercy’ Took on a ‘Medusa-type’ Theme

Chloe Bailey is known for her pitch-perfect vocals and her flawless hairstyles. The “Have Mercy” artist even sported a Medusa-themed headpiece in her 2021 music video. Here’s what the Chloe X Halle member said about the references to Greek mythology in her recently released single. 

Chloe Bailey (of Chloe x Halle) is the artist behind ‘Have Mercy’

Chloe Bailey of Chloe X Halle performs during the Billboard Women In Music 2020 event
Chloe Bailey of Chloe X Halle performs during the Billboard Women In Music 2020 event | 2020 Billboard Women In Music/Getty Images for Billboard

2021 marked a year of self-discovery for Chloe. That was the year she released her first single — the empowering track which promoted body positivity titled “Have Mercy.” Almost instantly, it became a fan-favorite song of the producer/songwriter.

The track was produced by Murda Beatz, Joseph L’Étranger, BoogzDaBeast, FnZ, and Chloe herself. Since “Have Mercy” debuted, the Spotify track earned over 80 million plays. The official music video reached over 50 million views, with Chloe later performing at the MTV Video Music Awards and the American Music Awards.

Chloe explained some of the Medusa imagery included in ‘Have Mercy’

There’s plenty of symbolism hidden within Chloe’s hit single. During one interview with Genius, the artist shared that the “Have Mercy” lyrics and the song’s corresponding music video make this song “a modern-day Medusa type thing.”

“I… really wanted to paint a visual picture in your mind,” Chloe said. “You know when you’re at the club, and you’re out, and you see the guy, and it’s like, ‘boy, you’re looking at me like I ain’t give you no choice.’ He can’t look away. I think it’s beautiful how the video ties in the Medusa theme. Completely — I love that.”

In Greek mythology, Medusa is known for having a head full of snakes. Whoever laid eyes upon this being was then turned into stone. The “Have Mercy” music video featured a modern-day twist on this story. With stone statues surrounding a greek life mansion, Chloe appeared in some scenes with a black feather headdress. 

Chloe sported a crystal headdress with a man almost hypnotized walking toward her in a garden with tall shrubs. The next time viewers saw that garden path, a stone statue replaced the man. One of the last images is Chloe lying in bed with a man. He then turned to stone in her hands. 

Chloe and Halle Bailey release music as the sister duo Chloe x Halle

Chloe offered more insight into “Have Mercy” and its imagery. With lyrics about Cartier, the artist shared that she intentionally attached a picture to this song’s meaning. Overall, the song promotes confidence, with Chloe sharing self-love for her “booty” and the rest of her body. 

Aside from “Have Mercy,” Chloe also releases music with sister Halle Bailey. As Chloe X Halle, these two performed on The Today Show, the MTV Video Music Awards, and caught the attention of Beyoncé with their YouTube covers. Music released by Chloe, as well as Chloe X Halle, is available on most major streaming platforms. 

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