Remember music videos? Remember when the “M” in MTV didn’t stand for “mundane”, when the network actually played videos? No? Well I don’t blame you, it’s been like 20 years. Sure, we all miss Hype Williams but the wonderful and diverse format hasn’t died, and its move to Youtube has grown it in both scope and number.
This week we bring you three new videos guaranteed to visually stimulate and reinvigorate your love for the artform.
“California Roll” – Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder
Uncle Snoopy gets things going with a retro look into future California as folks from 1946 are transported via a motion-action ride to a world adorned in Egyptian sensibility and style, laid under a thick cloak of Snoop’s Purple Haze. Starring the radiant Nia Long as the central passenger on the ride, the video provides an appropriately colorful accompaniment to the opening track of the Doggfather’s big, bouncy, hazy 13th studio album.
“L.S.D.” – A$AP Rocky
At.Long.La$t.A$AP, the sophomore album from A$AP Mob’s lead emcee was released this Monday at midnight, jumping its own announced release date by a week. There’s alot to be said about Rocky’s second album and the sprawling, syrupy trip that is A.L.L.A. flows directly through its psychedelic center, “L.$.D.” The video for the lead single, co-directed by Rocky himself (along with Dexter Navy), is a cross between Lost in Translation and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, jumping from one sparkling image to another as the rapper and his Asian female companion wander the city. The track itself doesn’t feature any actual rapping from the emcee who instead sings over a mesmerizing beat from Jim Jonsin that moves like a tugboat and steals a note or two from 808’s and Heartbreak. The video, though, takes a timely break for Rocky to jump into a verse from “Excuse Me”, the next song on the album. Tune in, turn on, Mob out.
“Early” – Run the Jewels
If you’re late to the RTJ scene, Run the Jewels is the collaboration between Killer Mike and El-P, each titans that have somehow maintained their “underground” identity. From their second album RTJ2, released last Fall, comes “Early”, a powerfully subdued track about police brutality. The video, in minimalist black, white, and red animation, was created by the design team Bug & Sluzzy from St. Louis, MO, and follows the song’s plot in a more specific way during Killer Mike’s first verse and a more general sense during El-P’s second half.