ScHoolboy Q‘s “Man Of The Year” video will usher in a new day for rap videos. At first glance it’s just another cynical production of the same undynamic and mass-produced images that have sadly come to define videos in hip-hop: lingering voyeuristic shots of women, exotic locations, and partyin’. But what initially seems like a sad attempt to recreate the insane and entertaining lavishness of “Big Pimpin’” on a shoestring is destroyed by the performances of the female dancers.
These girls are clearly disinterested in their context and their actions within them. Their awareness and acceptance of their role in the video and the resultant disdain lies behind every pearly white smile (and occasionally creeps to the surface: see above). The video may appear to flatten the dimensions of Q’s excellent song – one of the best of 2013 – but it’s true intention is to showcase how the ladies refuse to be reduced with it. We should ask for and expect more from our favourite rappers, and Q has delivered (check that laugh at the end if you doubt he’s in on it). Important, groundbreaking stuff. It’s understandable that it would take two directors, Dave Free and APLUSFILMZ, to muster the courage to bring this vision to life.
ScHoolboy Q‘s Oxymoron is out February 25th on Top Dawg Records/Interscope.