Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eye Candy # 7: Nas, Jay-Z, The Killers

Jay-Z "Minority Report"

dir. by ?

Though the video doesn't hold quite as much power following Juvenile's 2006 epic, Jay-Z's song is more accessible and is co-sponsored by MTV, thus guaranteeing it will get more playtime. Apart from some great shots of broken records, graffiti walls and lonely children's toys, the video cleverly keeps the focus on a shadowed Jay-Z. This is a personal song from a personal record, and as Hova raps "sure ponied up a mill/but I didn't give 'em time/so in reality I didn't give a dime" he stands sideways and in the darkness - as if he is so ashamed and humbled by Katrina that he can't even look us in the eyes. At 2:08 it's just short enough to work.

Nas "Can't Forget About You"

dir. by Chris Robinson

This excellent video harbors on the Goodfellas vibe of the song's sample, as well as Nas's nostalgic lyrics. After a classic opening the work alternates between Nas rapping in different locales around New York (including places from his Illmatic past) and Chrisette Michele singing like a star and looking equally stunning. Beautiful shots of the rapper coasting through New York remind us that he can still ghost ride with the best of them. The appearance of Natalie Cole at the end is just gravy (the song samples Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable"), but it's welcome as the video eventually loses some steam in its repetition.

The Killers "Read My Mind"

dir. by Diane Martel

Martel goes for a Lost in Translation type feel while the band keeps a sense of humor about the thing. One imagines this is intended to lighten the image of the band and perhaps make them more accessible (hey look, even the Japanese like them!). The problem is Flowers looks ultra serious (and convulsive) as he delivers his lines, and as many have pointed out, he also looks an awful lot like Colonel Sanders in that outfit and 'stache.

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Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie