Kid Videos – The Easy Way Out

Kanye, Lupe and Pharrell have a great song on their hands. They may have ruined that with the easy-to-do video for “US Placers” which features child look-alikes (not really actors because they’re mostly brought in to look like rappers, not to be them). There’s so much potential for Lupe’s videos to do amazing things given his content. “Superstar” triumphs that way but “Dumb It Down” and “US Placers” fall flat in comparison to their celebrity skepticism. Lupe may be trying to send an impalpable message with The Cool about the perils of fame or the emptiness of richness come up short when he too suffers from Hollywood video syndrome. The latest video is shot on a soundstage — kind of like “Dumb It Down” — and makes few tries at deeper meaning. It’s “Good Life” without the vibrant colors or happy feel…and some kids.

For instance, “US Placers” has been done before. Biggie had “Sky’s The Limit” which remembered him as an innocent, playing perhaps in a world too large and too opulent for his humble charm. Kelis and Andre 3000 went another route with “Millionaire,” imagining a world of children slightly more downplayed, less excitable.

It’s hard to pin Lupe Fiasco down right now. His record might be the most complex release of the genre. Having already alienated some fans with his skateboarder pandering, and still others with recent comments about A Tribe Called Quest, he’s at best a rogue, at worst an egomaniac. If he remains canny, he stands a chance at lasting success despite some quirks. But the jury is still out on the breadth of his creative thrust.


2 Responses to “Kid Videos – The Easy Way Out”

  1. 1 Scheme December 21, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    “Here’s the latest video I directed. I wasn’t commissioned to do it, so I spent my own dough to make it. I wanted to make a video for this song because I was obsessed with both the original Thom Yorke version and the Kanye West Mixtape version. It was a lot of fun to make. Most of the clothing is mine, like little Pharrell’s whole wardrobe. The props are mine, like the Brooklyn Machine Works bike and the Supreme “Last Supper” decks. That’s actually Plain Pat in the video, Kanye’s A&R.” -the director (vashtie)

    After reading that quote, your sentiment may remain the same (regarding your taste for child vids) – but you can infer from the director that it wasn’t an official release solicited by the label, lupe, kanye, etc. To me, for a do it yourself guerrilla video, the director did a good job.

  2. 2 Shayna December 24, 2007 at 2:59 am

    i thank scheme for posting what I was about to…. Vashtie did this unofficially and I think she did an excellent job. Yes, the children have been done before but there is nothing new under the sun. And to execute it to a point where it can be assumed to be official is enough to assert her abilities as a director. Either way, I respect our opinion.

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