A blog post of my favorite music videos . . . with links. Click-ity Clack and all of that! Ya heard?
Ludacris' music video for "Slap" is a homage to Martin Scorsese's street masterpiece film, Taxi Driver. The clip was directed by videographer Philip Andelman, who lensed John Mayer's video "Waiting For the World to Change" and my favorite, Lenny Kravitz's "Lady." In the video, Luda plays the Travis Bickle character (portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the original film), a cabbie who drives through the streets of Atlanta disgusted about his life and of the fares he picks up, which are mostly pimps, junkies and low-lifes. Travis dreams of wiping out such filth from the streets and he eventually snaps . . . or, in the case of Luda's video, he "slaps." This is Ludacris' best music video since "Southern Hospitality" in 2000.
The excellent music-video blog Obtusity (link this blog to your website immediately!) wrote an excellent scholarly and analytical treatise about the "Slap" video that is one of the best pieces of music journalism I have read this year.
And 30 Frames blog offers his thoughts on why video directors use pop-culture movies like Scarface, Casino and Mad Max as a motif for their videography.
Consequence's "Don't Forget Em" is from his new disc, Don't Quit Your Day Job -- one the best rap albums in 2007. The video is directed by Bernard Gourley (via G.O.O.D. Music Films), a visionary directors who has shot videos for E-40's slo-mo video "Tell Me When to Go" and more recently Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" clip.
Cons' song itself is a thought-provoking introspective tune that certainly needed a video treatment. On the track, the New York rhyme-slinger spits about the importance of remembering where you come from and not selling out your integrity.
As for the video, I love how the rotating camera gives a bird's eye view of Cons' Queens neighborhood in the background, and displays the people from the 'hood -- the military serviceman, the old married couple, the young teen and others. It's a simplistic video, but effective.
And again, I have to refer to the music-video blog Obtusity -- PLEASE LINK THIS SITE UP NOW! -- who does an excellent job of critiquing the clip.
Another simple but effective video is Robin Thicke's "Can U Believe." The ballad is a beautiful anthem by the soul crooner who believes that love can conquer all, and in his case, can resurrect a fledging career. Robin has more soul in his right pinky finger than Justin Timberlake who he is often compared to. Robin's latest disc, The Evolution of Robin Thicke, brought grown and sexy back -- not JT's faux-soul leanings.
As for Robin's clip -- which was directed by master video director Benny Boom -- it's pretty much Robin rehearsing with his band and singing the song as he prepares for the night's big show. That's it, just Robin and his voice. But it does convey that one simple message: "believe" in what you "love" and all of your dreams will come true.
Well, we all know that Robin is living out his dreams. Not only does he have a platinum-selling disc, he's also married to a supreme hottie (lucky bastid!) and he's opening for Beyoncé on her mega U.S. tour this summer.
Can U believe that?
Joell Ortiz has been crowned this year's indie-rap king thanks to his latest Koch release The Brick: Bodega Chronicles. The collection has garnered critical praise from hardcore hip-hop heads and backpackers alike. The Brooklyn, New York verbalist has dropped a few videos from The Brick but none of them is as captivating as the clip for "Brooklyn Bullshit." Helmed by up-and-coming video director Rik Cordero for Three 21 Media, the images meshes perfectly to Joell's unapologetic verses of his life in the 'hood. "So what I eat eggs for dinner when I don't feel like cookin'?" he spits on the guitar-strumming track. "Ain't my fault I'm on that bullshit, I'm from Brooklyn."
Let's hope that Joell's major-label debut on Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records is just as creative as this video. Here's a review of Joell's album and a remix of his first single, "Hip-Hop," featuring Styles P.
Musiq Soulchild always offers viewers visually-appealing videos to match his songs. (The Chris Robinson-directed clip for "Who Knows" comes to mind.) Musiq's latest clip for his second single, "Teachme" (from his latest disc Luvanmusiq), is another eye-catching video. It was directed by Marc Klasfeld who shot the phenomenal "Smiley Faces" clip for Gnarls Barkley and helmed Jay-Z's "Girls, Girls Girls" video.
The "Teachme" video is simple yet effective. The Philly crooner is telling his girlfriend that he does love her but he doesn't know how to show it. The clip is interspersed with silhouettes (shadows) of musical notes, hearts, birds and butterflies. It's a touching video for one of this year's best love ballads.
Finally . . .
Joss Stone's new clip for "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now" is a
homage a straight "bite" of Jill Scott's 2001 debut music video "A Long Walk." However, Jill does a better job of displaying her femininity and love in her video than Joss does in her clip.
In Joss' video, the Brit-soul songbird sings to the camera -- who we are to believe that she is singing to her lover -- as she strolls through the streets of New York. Near the end of the clip, Joss is escorted by her boo to a concert stage where she performs the song in front of a roaring crowd of fans. And rapper Common is featured in the clip as viewers are treated to seeing him spit his lovingly rhymes as the camera spins 360 degrees. Dizzying.
This clip is routine to me and I would rather watch Jill Scott's clip for "Long Walk."