Earlier today or yesterday, Kanye West leaked some screen caps from his latest video, for “Homecoming,” and wouldn’t you know, it looks like some ol’ bullshit.
In this case though, rather than the anime teh gheyness of “Stronger,” or the silly conceptual bullshit (without any actual concepts) of “Flashing Lights,” it just looks like one of these videos done by this guy Rik Cordero, where it’s just a bunch of assholes standing around on a street corner mean-mugging for the camera, as if this was 1993.
I’m not saying that’s definitely what it’s going to be. That’s just the impression that I got, as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones might put it.
If it is, it’ll only be the latest in a ridonkulous litany of such videos to hit the Internets recently. Just this week alone, there’s been something like three or four of them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another three or four of them next week. (Which of course makes me wonder how much this guy charges per video. I might be in the wrong business!)
I suppose that’s a good thing, in the sense that there are now videos for any number of rap songs that might have otherwise gone without them. A group like The Roots (they’ve put out two of these damn things themselves this week), which can’t make much of a business case for continuing a major label recording career at this point, doesn’t have to sweat trying to convince the TIs at Def Jam (who’s in charge over there now, anyway?) to shell out what it would cost for a regular video.
And who knows, this might even be a boon for their career. I’m sure it can be proven with a spreadsheet that the more people who see your video, the more people will eventually run out and cop your album. Unless it’s a case like the most recent 50 Cent album, where each new single mostly serves as a reminder of how bad the music is. (I’ll spare you my opinion on what I’ve heard of the new Roots album for the time being.) As I recall, the Roots did release a series of low-budget, semi-unwatchable clips in advance of their last album, which you’ll recall didn’t do too well, but whatever. That’s just me being a naysayer.
The only thing about all of these new ultra low-budget rap videos currently flooding the Internets is that, I wonder if I speak for myself when I say that I generally only watch maybe 30 seconds or a minute of them before I go back to what I was doing, i.e. scouring the Internets for rapidshare links to pr0n videos. For example, yesterday there was a Snoop Dogg one that came out where it looked like all it was was him in his bedroom, sitting on his bed rapping. I was like, “What the fuck is this bullshit?”
The obvious concern being: Does it even matter if you’ve got a video for your new shit out, if hardly anyone will actually watch it? I know I’ve seen statistics re: YouTube videos in general that suggest that hardly anyone watches those things in their entirety, but I figured that was because so many of them are advertised to make it seem as if they have pr0n in them. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve clicked on a video thinking it would be some chick with ridonkulously large cans, only come to find out it’s just some asshole in his mother’s basement talking about the election.
As Sagat would say, maaaan, funk dat!
Which leads to my primary aesthetic concern with these ultra low-budget rap videos, as if I’m actually qualified to criticize… like, anything. (Though I’d argue that an entire childhood spent watching MTV should qualify me at least somewhat.) My issue with these videos is not so much that any ol’ d-bag with a camcorder could come up with one of them (this guy Rik Cordero, does seem to have a certain look to his shit), but to me they just aren’t interesting enough to warrant spending very much time looking at them, when I could be looking at pr0n or taking a nap or something.
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s only gonna be a matter of time before it really is just any ol’ d-bag with a camcorder coming up with these things. Posting you new ultra low-budget rap video on some asshole’s blog is gonna be the new posting a link to your MySpace profile in the comments section of some asshole’s blog. Then the market’s just gonna get flooded, and those who have the means will be left with no other choice but to pump more resources into their videos in order to distinguish themselves. Which would of course defeat the whole purpose of the ultra low-budget rap video movement in the first place.
What do you fruits think? Are these ultra low-budget rap videos the future of hip-hop, or just a waste of a few hundred bucks? I’d say they could at least use more strippers in them. Don’t they work for free or next to free anyway? The fuck?