April 16, 2005

Generic 'Urban' videos are a pile of arse

I had the opportunity this evening to relax in the company of some fine fellows and, with the comforting flow of alcohol, enjoy some fine music.

However I was also occasionally subjected to the irritating pile of turds that is the generic 'Urban' video. You know the ones; young 'urban' men (which means tracksuit trousers, baggy t-shirt and probably a huge medallion of some kind) waving their fingers into the camera lens in an oh so down with the kids fashion. Meanwhile women dressed in salt-sachet sized clothing, dance around behind them like their finger waving is the most amazing thing they have ever seen. I have no objection to this culture, well ok I do, but I'm not going to go into that too much here as the main focus is why the hell can't they get some imagination.

Almost 4/5 urban music videos is exactly like this; the biggest choice seems to be whether to film it by the pool, in the parking lot or on the basketball court. Would the screaming fans really mind so much if you injected some imagination into your videos? Alive machinery? Dancing ninja? Comedy? I'm fearing that they probably would.

I see a video for music as a piece of art in its own right and it should be given proper respect, urban music is not the only culprit. Every band that puts out a video of them standing on a stage playing: yawntastic, make something exciting and invigorating if you want me to care. Some people are no doubt going to lust after the glory days of sonic only musical output, blah blah blah. We live in a modern age, these people are making videos anyway, why should they be shite? At what point does the same video, with slight variation and repeated endlessly, become boring?

On a related note, what the hell is with J Lo's obsession with denying that she is a rich woman? Every song and video she churns out these days emphasises how much she is so the american version of working class. Sure one song, ok, we understand that once you had it tough and scraped tuppence to buy sweeties. But 8–10 songs saying the same thing? Somebody has a serious complex. You are rich now. Nobody cares. Get over it.

All these generic 'Urban' videos use the same tricks. A favourite appears to be the fish eye lens, which means when they wave those oh so trippin' fingas at the camera they appear even bigger than normal! Fantastic! Grrr….

I think I need to listen to some Outkast or Slick Rick, lest I curse this new fangled urban music forever.

I hope all those who went to the Beverly Knight gig found it kickass and completely unlike the examples I outlined above. Oh and the picture, I have no idea who that is, they may be fantastic but they just looked generic enough for the entry.

- 10 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. If it's ninja's you want…try Wu–Tang Clan's 'Gravel Pit' video…awesome.
    I have a serious aversion to all the 'I must wear a white shirt that billows above a hot air grate' videos, R.Kelly being the prime culprit…that man should never be allowed to make music.

    16 Apr 2005, 23:25

  2. EVER.

    16 Apr 2005, 23:26

  3. There was a great bit in the video for In a World Called Catastrophe where all the continents of the world became the flag of the USA. I enjoyed it. Unfortunately I can't find somewhere where you can watch the video, so you'll just have to make do with a picture.


    More videos like that, I say. And less of the stuff Dan is talking about. I find it hard to belieive anyone finds that entertaining, but I could be proved wrong.

    16 Apr 2005, 23:35

  4. take me back to the fantastic vids of the 80's. Take on Me from A–Ha true classic, as is Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer video

    16 Apr 2005, 23:40

  5. You are right about Sledgehammer's video..one of the all time greats imo…

    17 Apr 2005, 03:56

  6. As was MC hammers "U Can't Touch This" video. What a genie trouser wearing hero he was– sigh*, just don't make like they used to.

    17 Apr 2005, 05:25

  7. I thought they were instruction videos for all the young Gangsta's and Ho's on how they should act to demonstrate their social status in the culture.

    Lesson one; to show just how street you indeed are, wave your fingers at every lens you see. Especially other peoples glasses. They'll immediately respect you.

    I love tha Aha video.

    Linkin Park are quite admirable for their high–budget wickedcool vids, although their music is getting a mite samey these days!

    17 Apr 2005, 09:56

  8. You want good music videos? You want the work of Spike Jonze. Beastie Boys' Sabotage, Weezer's Buddy Holly, Fatboy Slim's Praise You

    17 Apr 2005, 11:19

  9. Aha! I beat you all because I've never had sky! Or digital. Or any of those moosic channels that are so popular with the yoof of today. Just five reg'lar ole channels for me thanks, and I'll catch up with the uban scenesters on cd:uk of a Saturday morning. (Is that still on?)

    17 Apr 2005, 13:00

  10. Gravel Pit is a good song and Sabotage is an amazing song and video. Spike Jonze is amazing.

    17 Apr 2005, 16:52

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