Video Review: Hayley Kiyoko & Kehlani “What I Need”

Kehlani’s aunt demands to know where she’s going. Kehlani sits on the couch, packing her suitcase, telling her “where I was always go.” Her aunt calls Kehlani’s friend a skank. Kehlani calls Haley Kiyoko her best friend. Her aunt says she doesn’t believe that there isn’t anything going on between them. Kehlani says she’s “going to be gone a long time and isn’t coming back.” Her aunt screams, “why did you turn out like this?” Kehlani says she has her own identity. Her aunt points to the door and yells at her to “get out!” With her headphones around her neck, she carries her suitcases and meets Kiyoko, who waits for her.

Kehlani steals a t-shirt off the clothesline and flips her ex-girlfriend off as they drive off. Kiyoko listens as Kehlani vents. Once she calms down, she and Kiyoko sing along with the radio. They stop at a bar and order drinks. They play pool and dance. Kehlani runs to the couch in the bar and lies on Kiyoko’s lap. Kiyoko strokes her shoulder.

While driving on the road, Kiyoko serves as she tries to get out of a another’s car way. Kehlani wakes up and starts laughing. Hands pressed to the steering wheel, Kiyoko says “it’s not funny.” Kehlani says “it kind of is” and then they both start laughing. Kiyoko lifts up the hood and takes a look at the engine. They decide to get their things and walk. Kehlani spots a pick-up truck by the shoulder and points to it. Kehlani jumps inside and Kiyoko breaks out into a run, chasing the truck. Kehlani lifts her up and they stare at one another.

The guy slams the door on his truck and wants to know how long they had been on there. Kehlani explains they had engine trouble. Kehlani follows the guy to the passenger side and urges Kiyoko to sit next to her. Kiyoko tells her to “just go.” The guy brushes back Kehlani’s hair.

Kiyoko walks by herself for a couple of miles. Turning around, she sees Kehlani running towards her. Kehlani kisses her and they make out on the shoulder of the road.

Rating: 5/5

At the dinner table, Kehlani glared as her aunt went on her homophobic rants. Her aunt put down Haley Kiyoko, her best friend, saying she had corrupted her and “turned my sweet niece into a thing.” She ushered Kehlani to church every Sunday to repent and urged the priest to help save her soul.

Kehlani’s aunt, though, had smacked her across the face after one of her rants. Kehlani decided it was time to leave for good. She was so happy to see Kiyoko. Kiyoko has been there for her through every fight and given her a place to stay. Kiyoko said they needed to take a road trip and to forget the narrow-minded town they live in for a weekend.

The trip was going well until Kiyoko nearly hit another car. They opted to walk to the gas station to call Kiyoko’s mom for help. However, it was hot and they were getting tired. They ended up in the back of a pick-up truck. The man creeped out Kiyoko right away and she said she wasn’t going to go with them. In the pick-up truck, the guy tried to kiss her and she ran off. She hoped Kiyoko would at least be in the area. With both their cell phones out, neither had any way to contact one another.

Kiyoko worried for her Kehlani’s safety. She began to mourn her friend, believing she wouldn’t ever see her again. She chastised herself for letting her friend go. She didn’t even want to think of what she would tell the police. However, she heard her name being called. It was Kehlani, who began to kiss her.

Kehlani said she was stupid to leave without her and as the guy was touching her, it was Kiyoko who she realized she loved. Life was too short and she needed to act on her feelings.

Director: Hayley Kiyoko Year: 2018


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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