I've taken a pause from hip hop music video browsing to rant about one in particular.
This is a monstrosity of a video by that monstrosity of a woman, Nicki Minaj. This music video angers me for so many reasons, but I'll keep it relevant. Nicki Minaj thinks she's 'different' because she wears different coloured hair and wears weird outfits (much like Lady Gaga...), yet her video and songs are just like every other hip hop music video out there. Let's use Goodwin's theory to look at this: 1) Dancing women? Check. Cars? Check. Money? Check. Dance routine? Check. Low angled shots giving you "power" over the audience? Check.
"Oooh, I'm so different and fresh in the hip hop world because it's pink! And I'm female!"
2) She manages to get a plane up when she says 'plane'. Well done, Nicki, well done. 3) She dances in time to the music? And it's edited so that some of the dancing fits the beat. 4) Lots and lots and lots of close ups on her face, especially of her eyes doing that weird blinking thing because she's so "weird" and "random". And lots of midshots to show her face and torso, so that you can see that she's wearing her bra basically over her top instead of under it.
My exact expression whilst watching this video. Also, I hope she realises she's a bit on display...
5) The dancing women wearing basically nothing? Check. Nicki Minaj wearing her top so low down it may as well not be there? Check. Oh, but you're a female artist so wearing practically nothing and gyrating against anything with a pulse is empowering and celebrating female sexuality? No. It means you are just a pawn to the music industry, being used how they like to sell records and making you appeal to a male audience. You are not empowering to women with lyrics like 'you're like slicker than the guy with the thing on his eye' and 'boom ba da boom boom ba da boom bass got that super bass'. Think you're in control, Nicki? No, sit down.
Emmeline Pankhurst is rolling in her grave... 6) Alright, Minaj, I'll give you that one. I can't find any intertextual references...
Applying Goodwin's theories: 1) Fits conventions of genre. 2) Lyrics fit visuals. 3) Music fits visuals. 4) Close ups/recurring motifs. 5) Looking/voyeurism. 6) Intertextuality.
1) Cinematography: lots of close ups (to fulfil the demands of the record company, as established in the fourth point) and low angled shots giving the artist "power" or "dominance" over the audience. They are also there to make the audience feel part of the music video, as they often place them in the crowd which are looking up at the artist. Editing: the dancing is edited to fit the beat, Mise-en-scene: lots of images of money, cars, jewellery.
2) Hip hop music videos generally have a link between lyrics. Stan and It Wasn't Me have a clear story to them, because Stan is a narrative song, so a narrative music video would make sense. It Wasn't Me also has quite a narrative theme to it, so a narrative music video fits. In Da Club tries to have a narrative music video, but it doesn't make any sense because neither does 50 Cent or his fame. Ms. Jackson has a narrative aspect to it, with the two guys fixing up their house and trying to catch rain from getting through their roof and encountering a storm, possibly to symbolise the 'stormy relationship'. Superbass and Ignition don't have a narrative to fit the song, but they do have links, such as in Superbass when a plane appears when she says 'plane', and in Ignition, a car appears when he says 'toot toot'. Although, in Ignition, he says 'running my hand through my 'fro', and mimes the action but HE HAS NO FRO. ARGH.
3) The only real link between music and lyrics is that in some of them (eg. In Da Club), the bouncing is edited in time to the beat, and in Nicki Minaj's video, the dancing is edited to fit the beat of the song.
4) There are lots of close ups in all of the videos. In Eminem's videos, there is also the recurring motif of Dr. Dre. He's not credited on the song as featuring in it, so I'm going to class him as a motif because he has like one line in each, yet he appears in nearly all of them.
5) In hip hop videos, there are many references to looking, especially in Eminem videos. In My Name Is..., the entire concept is a family watching Eminem on their TV; in Stan, Stanley watched Eminem in the TV, in A** Like That, he's watching a film,in In Da Club by 50 Cent, Eminem is watching Fiddy in 'da club' through a window; in It Wasn't Me by Shaggy, Shaggy is looking at 'Rik' (does anybody even know who this man is?) through a telescope or something, but there's cameras and looking.
Voyeurism: VOYEURISM EVERYWHERE. The voyeurism in Eminem's video is mostly to parody the hip hop genre, something Eminem tries to do through lyrics as well as video (well, he used to, before he started hating everyone). There's none in Ms. Jackson, because that suits the theme of the song about being respectful and being sorry for hurting a woman. In Da Club has plent of it when they are cruising 'da club', It Wasn't Me has tons of it, which isn't surprising seeing as the song is about sleeping with loads of women and getting away with it, Ignition has it, Run This Town has it subtly, Superbass has it (see my rant on Nicki Minaj).
6) Eminem uses lots of intertexuality to basically mock everyone and everything. Just Lose It parodies Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), My Name Is parodies The Brady Bunch, Marilyn Manson and other old-style TV programmes.
This is mine and Hannah's one minute extract. The song is A Million Ways - OK Go. This inspired us to form our own dance troupe, called Ogko, because clearly, we got moves. BANNED IN SOME COUNTRIES, THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW YOU'VE MADE IT IN LIFE. Thanks to OK Go for making the song and stuff. Thanks to Trish Sie for making the dance. Thanks to Omar and Livvy for learning this and doing it and stuff. Thanks to Hannah's parents for letting us use their garden. Thanks to Mark and my mother for lending me clothing (because, even though I attend sixth form, I had to borrow smart clothing...) DON'T PLAY THE MUSIC, I'M NOT FINISHED!
This is my animatic piece: The Adventures Of Frogman (aka Sarah turns Batman green and makes him into a horrible, horrible person). The storyboard will be up once I have found it in the mess that is my 'important stuff' pile which is actually a collection of work, bank stuff, photos, magazines and basically anything I can't be bothered to tidy away properly cleared enough space on my camera. Special mention to my amazing computer skills. SUCK IT, DC.
I have been a busy bee as of late, and have found three bands who would be willing to let us use their tracks for our coursework. They are: Basement Nation - my lovely friend Raph's band. He says we can use any song we like, as long as we credit it 'Basement Nation 2011'. The Dead Famous - I actually spoke to somebody without having a panic attack or crying. They say we can use Superstar, as it's the only one that's not a demo track. Union - there is no link for this one, but I've got the EP. This is my stepdad's band. He is fab.
Just a quick update on our one minute extract because it isn't going quite according to plan and seeing as I am the cause of that, I feel I should explain...
We were meant to film it today (it's the OK Go video, so it's all one shot so would have to be filmed over one day and not over time), but yesterday I got this horrible pain in my side. Long story short, they thought I had appendicitis so at 1am this morning, guess where I was? The wonderful joy that is Chase Farm Hospital A&E. Never before have I seen such a filthy hospital - there was blood on the bathroom floor which hadn't been cleaned properly, we found a cockroach and there was general junk everywhere. So I may now have contracted herpes or MRSA or AIDs or something like that, in which case we will never get our extract done.
However, back to the point, I have only just got back at 6.30am. I am struggling to keep my eyes open as I write this and I'm still in so much pain, so today filming cannot be done. But, if I don't feel like curling up in a ball and dying tomorrow, we will do it.
On the plus side, my appendix isn't about to burst.