This Week in Pop Videos: Robin Thicke! 50 Cent! Lil Wayne! More!
A look at the week's hottest pop clips, including the frolicsome ribaldry of Robin Thicke, the mansion malaise of 50 Cent and the insufferable wackness of Somethingorother Yacht Idiots.
Robin Thicke - "Blurred Lines" A new Robin Thicke video could have been overlooked amid all this Timberlake mania, but this could be big. Here we have a tune and clip of legitimate boisterousness, with Robin Thicke affecting a vintage George Michael steez and T.I. and Pharrell frolicking and cavorting with half-naked models..
Don't misunderstand: Pharrell and T.I. aren't just letting the models do the legwork. Pharrell is actually cavorting, and T.I. is frolicking. This may be your one chance of 2013 to see a rapper of his stature indulge in a genuine frolic, so don't pass it up. A toy car rolls down a woman's arched back; Robin eats ice cream; T.I. dances; at one point, Pharrell tells a goat that it's the hottest bitch in this place. This is about as good as pop imagery gets. Says a YouTube commenter: "the girls look sexy.. the guys look sexy, the beat is dope. everyone looked like they were having a blast!"
The video's only weakness is those big flashing #THICKE and #BLURREDLINES hashtags. They add some nice color, but in a few years they'll likely look as dated as the cyberspace virtual reality stuff in Aerosmith's "Amazing" video -- nobody uses Twitter in 2019, grandpa. Also, they block some important cavorting.
P.S. A certain type of sick individual might watch this video and wish for a version in which all the women were topless. I have some terrible news: such a thing exists, and it's every bit as disgusting as it sounds. Here's a link, in case you'd like to flag it for violations of YouTube's content guidelines or manually blacklist it from your browser.
50 Cent / Kendrick Lamar - We Up ft. Kendrick Lamar If you told a director to make the exact opposite of the "Blurred Lines" video, you'd end up with something close to this. In a tacky pornographer's mansion, 50 Cent mills around miserably with some weary models; Kendrick shows up for a great verse, but 50 looks awkward and annoyed, like he forgot he invited him.
Kendrick is allowed to hang on the rooftop balcony only. He is not allowed in the main house; only 50 and his bored model friends are allowed in there. Kendrick is too new, and his shoes have not been vetted for upholstery safety. It's a shame, because 50 and his models have nothing new to say to each other -- maybe Kendrick would have sparked some conversation, but instead everyone sits around like they own the place, listlessly counting stacks of money, sober and grumpy and avoiding eye contact.
The girls don't look sexy, the guys don't look sexy, the beat is mope and nobody looks like they're having a blast.
Lil Wayne - "Rich as Fuck" After the big health scare earlier this month, it's great to see Tunechi back doing what he does best: dancing on a huge glowing cube in the desert.
See also: Lil Wayne: Human After All
30 Seconds to Mars - "Up in the Air" Here we see the newish phenomenon of the Official Lyric Video, which labels produce when they haven't put together a real music video but still want to throw something official-looking on YouTube. I know it's a dubious inclusion in a roundup of the week's music videos, but I'll take absolutely any opportunity to make fun of Jared Leto.
The video -- which is actually quite well done, as these things go -- consists of stylized lyrics zapping around over a backdrop of spectacular NASA footage. This is in keeping with the single's main wacky publicity stunt: a few weeks ago, the band blasted the tune off on a rocket and debuted it aboard the International Space Station. I'm not sure what the point of this was, but it's easy to imagine how it came about: "What if a song," said Jordan "Frozen Embryos" Catalano, struggling to express his lofty artistic ambitions in the imperfect language of reality, "was, like, in space?" And then everyone leaned back on their beanbags and went "wooow-w-w--w-w" for three or four hours.
It seems like an incredible waste of time and money, but so is the band itself. These dudes have always suffered from loftiness; in their minds they are Wyld Stallyns, destined to save the future with the power of rock. 2009's This Is War album was so drenched in grandiose horseshit that it worked as unintentional comedy (check out the Kings and Queens video for a great example), but "Up in the Air" tones down the laffs and works only as bad pop. It's got half a tune (the bad half), crud electronics and the obligatory singalong oh-oh-a-whoa-oh bit. It also has unbelievably doofy lyrics, which are all the more offensive when they're skittering around atop the majesty of the cosmos.
Jared Leto claims that a nutty fan recently mailed him a severed ear. Judging by this track, Leto's going to need it.
The only winning moment is the line "I wouldn't trade an eye for your lies," the obviousness of which is on par with the old Jack Handey line: "I'd rather be rich than stupid." Hey, these dudes get to be both!
Drop City Yacht Club - "Crickets" This video represents a dramatic breakthrough in lame. Previously, this level of high-intensity wackness could only be glimpsed for milliseconds in laboratory conditions before decaying into its component garbages, but these guys must access to the Hadron Collider or something because they sustain a level of wackness that seems scientifically impossible.
If this song were in a Free Credit Report Dot Com commercial, you would say, "Wow, I remember Free Credit Report commercials being a lot cooler than this."
Picture a guy in a fedora and a purple flame shirt with a cell phone holster on his braided leather belt. He's wearing a utilikilt, and knee-high white socks under his Birkenstocks. That guy used to make fun of these guys in high school.
I don't know if there's such a thing as Christian ska, but if there is, it is less wack than this. If these guys played at a Christian ska festival, the Christian ska guys would probably laugh and throw bottles of pee at them.
If I lied and told you these guys were Canadian, it wouldn't even out alter your grading curve: they'd suck even for Canadians.
These guys make Macklemore look like Big L.
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