Seeing as I don’t know nearly as much about munting and funting and pinging and dinging as elder brother J, I will not give you a discourse about the evils of such pastimes. Instead, sticking to what I know, I’m going to deliver a diatribe against Ric Cordero, Hype Williams and all those other, equally-stupidly-named punks out there in charge of the formative chunk of hip-hop music video direction. For hip-hop heads such as myself, videos are enough to make or break a song. ‘Live Your Life’ wasn’t even the best appropriation I’d heard of that ‘mayahee!’ song but Rihanna looked hot (pre-Browning) and T.I. got into a mad fight, so I dug the song. Same goes for Kanye’s vid I posted on a coupla go – trite song, but when you spaz out like that on the chromatic scale, it no longer matters that the content of your lyrics is dry at best.
That being said, the polar opposite is equally true. If you produce a video with a few regular vixens you picked up on the side of the road, a coupla bottles of Henny (Cristal is mad expensive – global downturn people) and film the whole thing with a variety of four angles either a) on a boat b) in a club c) against a wall of flashing lightbulbs or d) in a bank vault, I’m not going to think much of you, even if your song is the next best thing since ‘Yesterday’. I understand that not everybody has the world’s biggest budget (although, having seen what OK Go could do for $500 and a couple of treadmills, that is no longer an excuse) and the number of big-bootied, big-chested black girls moving into HR and real-estate is proving to be the decade’s worst ever TnA-drain, however, with some ingenuity and a desire to do something worthwhile, even short-stop Lil Wayne can be made to look good (note that playing the guitar on the top of a Hummer did not make my list of no-go set locations).
Ingenuity and a desire to do something worthwhile were two things clearly far from the minds of Jamie Foxx and Busta Rhymes in these, their latest cellular efforts. I can kind of excuse Jamie Foxx for the dross. The man is living in the reflected glory of a dead, blind man, the one good acting gig he did imitating him (Ray) and the one good singing gig he did imitating him (Gold Digger). Yes, Stealth had Jessica Biel in it, but it was still shit. Busta Bus, on the other hand, I have absolutely no sympathy for. The man is halfway through announcing his imminent return to the rap game, leaking solid track after track off his forthcoming LP and then he what? produces this song in the first place and then goes to the effort of remixing it and producing (or shitting out?) this video. The dance is extremely funny and the way Akon is the only one taking himself seriously brings a smile but seriously? I want to think it’s a parody but something about the fact that they’re straight-faced for some part of it makes me doubt it is.
We have previously discussed the Lil Wayne effect and gone some way to exploring the T-Pain effect but now, happily, we can discard any analysis of the Jake Gyllenhaal effect – namely, making your comeback music video seem even sadder than it might have been – or the green-screening-expensive-looking-pieces-of-couture effect – namely, ditto. I am shocked and saddened by what I have witnessed today. Busta Rhymes is still funny because he’s big and scary and politically incorrect but poor old Jamie Foxx has officially been assigned to the scrapheap of the musical appreciation division of my brain. Clubs and money are cool, but only if you can pull off a stupid dance and definitely not when you sound like a weasel and Ron Howard is toasting you. Kapeesh?
Jamie Foxx – Blame It (On The Alcohol/Director/Career-Advisor/Misguided Confidence)
Busta Rhymes – Arab Money (Remix)
Ps. What is T.I. doing?