So this weekend I was able to catch some of the more talked about music videos put out by our billboard topping artists recently. Overall, the collection wasn't bad. Not great, but not terrible. First up, Cookie (aka Nicki Minaj) with the visualization of her new single, "Moment 4 Life," featuring Young Money cohort, Aubrey "Drake" Graham. While Nicki looked pleasantly fashionable and eccentric in all her shots, the video itself was more or less a high-budget misfire, reaching for a vintage bourgeoisie ball with a cinderella story but not quite getting there. For someone who has been so successful with the eclectic revamp of her brand & self-proclaimed acting skills, Nicki seemed subdued and confused about what to do during her solo scenes, and whatever chemistry was supposed to happen in her moments with Drake didn't. At this point, I'm sure it won't affect her sales, but if she is looking to continue her streak, I'll assume there'll be more thought that goes into her next video outside of locations and costuming.
The word on the entertainment blogs is that this video has been banned in 11+ countries, citing that it's risqué nature & suggestive themes don't gel with various international censoring boards. My gag lies with Rihanna, who is claiming frustration & discontent with these mandates; darling, we've seen your face beat to hell in real life, I find it tough to believe that you think it's wrong that folks in the UK & South Asia have a problem seeing you in pink latex taping up & kissing another woman. In any case, the video is actually very cute and colorful, which, I'm sure, was a way of downplaying the darker sadomasochistic essence of the record. The vertigo-inducing camera work calls to mind early hip-hop videos from folks like Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes (go watch "Hands Where My Eyes Can See" for the reference). Blogging queen Perez Hilton makes an appearance as an aptly casted submissive slave/dog/thing at the end of Rihanna's leash. If only we could collar him to a post and leave him there.
But kudos to RiRi's team on this one, I enjoyed it, and with the full explicit version on her website as of this week, I'm sure the rest of the world will too.