Volume 95, Issue 56

Friday, January 11, 2002
Search the Archives:
Tips for searching
Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


Beautiful porn star bares it all for The Gazette

Shits and Giggles

Oily ho's and blingin' Bentleys

2002's crystal ball

Oily ho's and blingin' Bentleys

Unabridged Unexpurgated
Marcus Maleus
Opinions Editor

People nowadays are smart enough to know what genre of music they're enjoying simply by watching music videos with the television muted.

When you see oiled-up ho's barely wearing bikinis, riding in "blingin'" Bentley's with ice-clad tough guys, you know you're watching a rap video.

When you see kids in their late teens making blatant sexual innuendoes while dancing with five of their closest friends in the rain, it's probably a pop video.

And when you see some pseudo cowboy pretending to dance around main street in "Anytown, USA" with a group of locals having a humdinger of a good time, you know you're watching a country video.

Very seldom do mainstream videos stray from the standard recipe of success for their particular genre. Unfortunately, this recipe doesn't call for creative risk-taking as videos rarely go beyond flashy colours and nice cars.

It seems the only genres capable of putting original ideas into their videos are electronica and house.

These videos tend to tell a story. They succeed in fitting both plot and characters into a three or four minute time slot. Perhaps they would be better classified as short films.

Daft Punk's video for "Da Funk" – with a man in a dog costume walking around the city – is a great example. Or Basement Jaxx's newest video, "Where's Your Head At," which features a bunch of lolligaggin' monkey's with human faces, getting into all kinds of tomfoolery.


It's a stretch to call most mainstream videos "art." I prefer to think of them as extended commercials for CDs, posters, t-shirts and pop-star action figures.

Hopefully, we won't have to wait long for people to tire of the status quo and start looking for something more. Unfortunately, the mainstream will likely find that something special in electronica and take all that's good about electronica videos and incorporate it into mainstream videos.

It's the same old cycle.

People get sick of seeing whatever the flavour of the day is, so they look for an alternative. Once enough people like the alternative, the industry takes control of it and all its videos begin to look the same too.

My hope is the rest of the music industry can learn from the creative videos of the electronica world and spread the creativity to other genres. I long for the day when artists like Lil' Bow Wow get thrown to the Hollywood gutter, where they can wait for a call from Behind the Music.

Then maybe videos can be fun and creative again.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2002