15. Peking Duk featuring Benjamin Joseph “Say My Name”
I’ve read somewhere that Donald Trump is proof you don’t have to be poor to be white trash. Unfortunately, I find that statement to be quite true. It’s the stupid things many Americans say that gets on my nerves. Particularly on television, it portrays the citizens of the old U.S.A. as uncultured and unintelligent. They don’t even have the charm of our mulleted friend in Peking Duk and Benjamin Joseph’s video for “Say My Name”. This fellow has some of the worst pick up lines I’ve ever heard. His look is quite sleazy, but you have to give him credit for rocking the red cowboy boots. He wins over the locals of the city with sweet, sweet hip gyrations. If you can get construction workers dancing, you got some Jesus-like powers of persuasion. Mostly what this country should take from our hero is his ability to keep coming back, and never giving up. A near death experience does nothing to prevent him from walking back into that restaurant and giving the waitress another go. And you know what? He’s ok with the rejection. That’s right America, you don’t have to bomb everyone who doesn’t like you.
14. RYSY “The Fib”
Relationships can suck mostly because two people can still have a connection but be incapable of coming together as one. There’s a reason it’s called an ego and not a wego. In RYSY’s video for “The Fib” we never understand what the fib was, or who it was that fibbed. What we see is a woman get into her car and start crying. We see a man by the train tracks at another location looking distraught, though more somberly than his counterpart. What happens next is that both scenes layer together creating one story. The woman starts her car and rams it into the wall opposite her parking space. The man, feeling what has happened, walks over from the train tracks to an area of dirt. While he pantomimes opening the door of the car, back in the garage we see the car door actually open. In this way, he pulls her out of the wreckage but we see her floating in the air up and out of the car. The technique used to make this video was neat. It also reminds us that we affect others even when we’re not around.
13. Alabama Shakes “Sound and Color”
The vastness of space is mostly shadowed in black. And being a vacuum, it is insanely silent. Alabama Shakes’ video for “Sound and Color” takes place on a spaceship. We have one lone astronaut on this ship. He has woken from a cryogenic slumber to find that the food has turned to dust, and that an error has caused the autopilot to fly in the wrong direction. He’s now light years away from home, and has no idea how long he has been asleep. His memories go back to his wife and son. As he puzzles together that he is lost to his old life and his home planet, all he has is silence. He’s caught in a white spaceship, with the blackness of space around him. Every now and again he sees the light of a star bouncing off some satellite whether it be a planet or moon. Even more amazing is the sight of a star as it peeks from behind one of these bodies of rock. Yet, it’s a blessing without value. He sees what no one has ever seen before with their own eyes, but he’d give them away to have his life back.
12. J.Cole “G.O.M.D”
Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained earned it’s fair share of praise and criticism. Mostly it showed how horrible slavery actually was, and the way it just buried hate into the hearts of everyone. White people looked down on Africans as though they were inferior, just animals to be used for labor. Some of the slaves who got to work in the homes and had it “better” looked down on the other slaves. Some of the slaves who worked out on the plantation hated white people back, or the other slaves that looked down on them. Everyone had someone to hate. J.Cole’s video for “G.O.M.D.” takes us back to the days of slavery. J. plays a slave who is in charge of keeping the house in order. He’s the guy Samuel L. Jackson played in Django Unchained. The difference between J.’s character and Jackson’s is that J. is looking to free his brothers and sisters. Jackson’s character was just looking out for himself. What happens is that as the white family is celebrating, J. and some others take all their guns and distribute them among the slaves. As the slaves take freedom and dance by fire in the night, J. is joined by the daughter of the white slave owner. It seems like there will be a peaceful end to this after all, until three white men ride up with torches. Let’s face it, historically speaking this chain of events would not end well for J. and the others. While slavery may be outlawed in the United States, the kind of talk that generalizes a people and puts them down can instill the same type of hate. Any man who is being harped on can say “get off my dick”, but only a good man will try to end it with that.
11. Action Bronson featuring Chance the Rapper “Baby Blue”
Action Bronson is a chef, a rapper, and a terrific comedic actor. His video for “Baby Blue” that features Chance the Rapper is an homage to the Eddie Murphy classic Coming to America. Bronson plays several of the roles that Murphy and Arsenio Hall did in the film. The intro is quite entertaining with Bronson playing a barber, an old Jewish man, and a client getting his hair cut all discussing Floyd Mayweather fighting Manny Pacqiuao. We also get Bronson in a white sport coat performing for Albanian Awareness Week. He saves the day when the McBronson’s is getting robbed. He even marries the girl in the end, just not at a royal wedding. It’s cleverly done and funny to boot. There are those who may criticize that it takes away from the tale of an African immigrant and how poorly he is treated simply because of his looks. I mean, the guy was a prince after all. But in a way I think the same can be said of Bronson. He’s a big white guy, who can come off looking disheveled. He looks like he’s focused only on eating, but his talents lie in the culinary field and the rap game. And just like Prince Akeem, Action Bronson is out to make it on his own.