Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Never Let It Go: T.I. "Big Things Poppin"

T.I. "Big Things Poppin"

dir. by Eric White

After becoming the biggest rapper on the planet in 2006, T.I. faces '07 with a fresh set of dilemmas. It's no longer simply about representing his block or enjoying his rising fame - he now faces the fear of losing all that he has acquired. As Eric White's video shows us, there are thousands of fans out there who adore the southern MC and impatiently wait for a monster follow-up to King. With his influence at an all-time high, T.I. faces an internal conflict on how to present himself now that he is certified-platinum royalty.

Yet rather than settling on any one persona, he wisely chooses to show us the conflict itself. The first single from T.I. vs. T.I.P. is a self-addressed pep-talk in the vein of Gwen Stefani's "What You Waiting For" or Eminem's "Lose Yourself." It rebukes the naysayers and recalls past glories, while in its very existence represents the slightest bit of doubt.

The video cleverly begins with the two sides of T.I. facing off in what is the most engaging and humorous scene of the work. The two characters are separated by one's carefree fun-loving attitude and the other's business-like desire to succeed. They are later shown embracing super stardom in different ways, but neither seems greater than the other. In either case T.I. wants to convey that his biggest priority remains the fans - that he is still a Bankhead kid who loves to rap. Yet his success in this video lies in revealing how difficult playing that role can be when you're own expectations are so high.

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