Yep, music videos told stories in 2012, and I loved it.
Was 2012 the year that the music video format got its groove back? From runway-fresh couture looks to exemplary moments in cinematography and video concept, here are eight music videos that personified style in 2012.
“The common thread is change.” - Questlove
“So what makes a great hip-hop song? It’s when a track has the power to pull energy and excitement and anger and questions and self-doubt and raw emotion out of you. Whether you’re loving every second of it (“The 900 Number” by DJ Mark The 45 King) or not (Vanilla Ice). It could be a song that sets your neighborhood on fire (“Rapper’s Delight”) or a song on your headphones that makes you rethink what hip-hop is (Schooly D’s “PSK”). The common thread is change. The best hip-hop songs aren’t blueprints – they are calls to action, reminders that you change the world in three minutes. Just keep that clock radio on.” –Questlove
Is it me, or is “Molly” the new Moscato?
Hip-hop artists claim they know her [Molly]— she’s casually mentioned by 2 Chainz in the Nicki Minaj track “Beez In the Trap,” by Childish Gambino in his song “Unnecessary,” by Kanye West in “Mercy,” by Danny Brown in “Die Like a Rockstar.”
I’m currently reevaluating my love for hip-hop.
If you think that the celebrity endorsements during the 2012 election run has died down since the 2008 celebrity bandwagon, you probably haven’t been paying much attention.
Yep, voting is the new black, and our favorite music artist have definitely been keeping us posted on their endeavors to keep up with the trends. Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen came together to rally up support for Obama, Katy Perry has been wearing a collection of awkward Obama appreciation outfits, Diddy is still telling us to Vote or Die (but not necessarily in those words for some reason), and even Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) gave us an insightful list detailing why he was voting for Obama and not Mitt Romney.
Not to be outdone Mitt Romney gained support of music artist from a few differing genres himself. For instance Kid Rock showed up and showed support for Mitt Romney. He spoke on how he was proud when Obama became the first black president but was disappointed that Obama:
“… didn’t do a better job.” - via The Huffington Post
A lot of confusion surrounded some carefully chosen (publicity seeking?) lyrics from Nicki Minaj, when she seemed to imply her support of Mitt Romney, but then later on showed her support for President Obama.
While, music and politics don’t always mix, politics and propaganda (my undergraduate professor would kill me for referring to public relations as propaganda) go hand and hand, and thus, these varying celebrity endorsements have surely influenced a great number of voters.
Long gone are the days when a rapper’s voice on political matters was simply a form of conscience rapping, it’s become much more than that for these music artist—a plea for attention, a CSR/credibility boost, a sincere desire for change? Who knows?
I hope that these artist truly care about their fans and their fans social needs, but sometimes it just seems that these artist go to extreme lengths to prove their loyalty to a politician.
I will say, however, I was so looking forward to a remix to this…
… just kidding!
Lupe Fiasco is very well-known for starting a conversation, and not in the “can you believe what Lady Gaga wore to the Grammy’s” kind of conversation.
His lyrics, interviews and music videos often stir the pot, which is why it’s no surprise that his latest single, “Bitch Bad”, from his upcoming album Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1, is pushing a message striving to get people to think of their use of the word “Bitch”. The video showcases some of the long term effects of using the word.
You can say this is nothing new (especially when looking back at when Queen Latifah asked the world, “Who you calling a bitch?”), but Lupe, staying true to his brand, gives a fresh take on an old issue, and a current view on the effects of the casual use of the word bitch.
Lupe Fiasco, and Gil Green who directed the video, creatively incorporated the use of black face in the music video. I’m sure it has a specific meaning, but it also seems to be left up to the viewer’s interpretation of what the black face actually represents. The use of black face in the video also pays respect to Paul Robeson and the “many black actors who endured the humiliating process of blackface in America.”
It will be interesting to see what the rap community has to say about this, especially with Kanye West’s “Perfect Bitch” being a highly anticipated single.
Check out the video for yourself:
Azealia Banks is blowing up on the scene right now, and I love that she seems to have a solid identity. Sadly, along with that is already a heap of drama, but maybe it’s part of her brand (i.e. make random inflammatory statements about others like Lil’ Kim and make diss tracks geared towards male rappers like Jim Jones). Either way, I love her right now and can’t wait to see what she pulls out in relation to her up and coming EP, “1991”.
”Van Vogue” x Azealia Banks
From her “1991” EP.
All I can say is that this is absolutely brilliant.
Fan engagement should go beyond competitions on Facebook and Beck has found a way to get fans really involved in his music.
I’m amazed at how creative people can be with music promotions!
Roses are red, violets are blue. Don’t take it as an insult, but here’s what I think of you…
At no surprise (at least not to me) Kanye West’s soon to be released G.O.O.D. Music album Cruel Summer has a track titled “Perfect Bitch” that was written about Kim Kardashian.
No offense, buI’m sure she’s been called worse, and I’m sure the tweet will help hype the release of the single and the album, especially considering how much the media is eating up the less than 140 characters Tweet posted by Mr. West.
I’m actually sure that the album will have some good music (see what I did there?) on it, but I suppose it wouldn’t have anything to do with Kanye West if it didn’t have some eyebrow raising behavior in toe to promote it.
Stay tuned for this one. I’m sure Kanye West has a few more publicity moves up his sleeves…
- Shervin Bain
Okay, I can’t help but chuckle at the Snoop Dogg name change right now.
While name changes aren’t anything new to the music industry, they’re often still surprising, especially when it comes to artist with very established names. Who can forget when Puff Daddy became P.Diddy and then Diddy, and now apparently he is known as “Swag”.
I remember when Prince wanted to be called “The artist formerly known as Prince” and then he wanted people to call him a symbol.
To me it makes sense for artist to have nicknames. For example we have X-Tina (Christina Aguilera) Mimi (Mariah Carey) and I’ve even warmed up to the nickname Mother Monster (Lady Gaga).
For me calling Snoop Dogg Snoop Lion as a nickname would make sense, but calling Snoop Dogg Snoop Lion as an official name is ridiculous. More so, because the idea seemed to come to him when he took a trip to Jamaica and I can only wonder what epiphany he came to while relaxing in Jamaica.
Now, it’s unclear why Snoop Dogg would liken himself to Bob Marley (I’m assuming/hoping it goes beyond his love for marijuana), but for some reason he sees himself as the reincarnation of Bob Marley (especially considering the Snoop Dogg aka Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. was already 10 years old when Bob Marley died in 1981), but for some reason he feels this is a good reason to change his name. It’s almost as ridiculous as when Kanye West wanted people to address him as “Martin Louis The King Jr.” (I for one am particularly glad that no one took Kanye serious with that one).
The name change also comes with a new reggae sound. No longer a rap artist, but a new reggae artist. Admittedly, I gave his latest song a listen, and it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, (definitely more understandable than a Kanye West or Diddy album filled with a mix of auto-tuned ballads) but the whole thing still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
If he pulls this off I will eat my words, but until then, I can’t help but sit back and expect a train wreck from the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg.
I’ve always wondered if artist that have passed with unreleased music would want the world to hear the songs they never released (and possibly never intended to). While I myself am a big Aaliyah fan, I can’t help but ponder if she would want Drake, or anyone for that matter, to put together a new album formed with splices of rejected songs compiled into an album that she has no say in titling, but has her name slapped onto.
Although this is still a rumor going around, artist like Amy Winehouse and more notably Tupac have had albums released in their names without their consent.
While I understand how artist like Drake may feel it’s a great way to have these artist live on, I can’t help but wonder if we all should let these artist R.I.P. rather than trying to give them a rebirth in new music. They already live on in the great music they have left us. No?
Recently Lady Gaga was cruising through New York when she decided to stop and give some fans a preview of her new single… from her car. I don’t have much to say on this other than it’s brilliant.
I can see this being done as a viral campaign. Imagine, Lady Gaga, driving through your city, stopping randomly and giving all her fans a chance to hear the latest single. Their reactions being recorded and a video made from the compilation. Simple, and possibly very effective.
I don’t think this was done as a promotional effort, which makes me appreciate Lady Gaga more as an artist. She’s clearly not too beside herself to stop and mingle with everyday people.
I’m intrigued with what she will do next. Staying tuned!