Friday, April 13, 2007

Big Time Talent: Lil' Mama "Lip Gloss"

17 year-old phenom who is poised to take over the charts with her hot debut single...

Lil' Mama "Lip Gloss"

dir. by

What separates Lil' Mama from other pure novelty artists like Jibbs or MIMS is that her song is actually about something beyond herself or her possessions. While on the surface "Lip Gloss" may appear to be exclusively about showing off wealth and status, the video emphasizes the metaphorical aspect of the chorus, "my lip gloss is poppin," by turning the stick into a magical product rather than just a very expensive one. Thus the value she possesses does not come from her lips but rather her "magic" - which is represented as her musical skills.

Yet despite these efforts, and the scene at the very end, this is a video that still values appearance over all else. Just as Mama raps about different brands of clothing and accessories, the "dorky" kids turn into "cool" kids by changing into new clothes. Some of them also reveal new skills like dancing and jump-roping, but for the most part the changes are external. What's most troubling is that Mama directly quotes Beyonce's "Upgrade U" in her lyrics, revealing just how influential B's image of glitz and glamor has been. Though truth be told, Lil' Mama's track still has more depth than her inspiration's.

Furthermore this video trumps almost every other hip-hop video out today with its positivity. The choreography is fantastic, especially the hallway and lunchroom scenes, and the beat of the song is undeniably catchy. In the end, the video at least wants to be about valuing self-expression over money or physical appearance. Supposedly Lil' Mama herself came up with the concept for the video, which means she's got her head in the right place. It's truly inspiring to see a young female hip-hop star with some talent and intelligence making interesting music. Keep it poppin'.


NapiSoul said...

I was soooooooooooo happy to see a young girl FULLY CLOTHED in a hip hop video! I'm a 28 yr old mother of a 9 month old boy and THIS is one of my new favorites. I can't get the song outta my head.

Whatcha know bout me! My lipgloss is poppin!

Obtusity said...

I couldn't agree more. If she keeps at it, Lil' Mama has a very bright future ahead of her. I recently caught some of her freestyles on YouTube and she's actually very talented.

Thanks for commenting!

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