Monday, February 27, 2006

Video of the week: No Scrubs

I'm not a big fan of Hype Williams' work. His videos for the bad and bling of hip-hop (Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z) exemplify everything that's wrong with post-gangsta rap. They're gaudy, self-aggrandising exercises in style over substance - or money over taste, to be more accurate.

This video, for TLC's "No Scrubs", stays true to the genre but manages to shake off the chains of formula and run, arms akimbo, for the door marked 'pop'. It does so for the same reason the song surpasses its nursery-rhyme melody: the irresistable force of the band's personality. The girls just don't take themselves seriously - rubbing their rumps, pulling faces and, finally, falling about in hysterics as the song fades out.

Interestingly, the only other Hype video I've ever enjoyed pulls off the same trick. Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy With It" is jaw-droppingly good not because of the ridiculous amount of cash it must have cost, but because of Smith's big cheeky grin. And that bizarre dance, where he rubs two hamsters together in the hope of generating enough static electricity to stick them to a nearby wall.

Perhaps we'll come back to that one another time...

  • Buy Hype Williams' video collection at Amazon
  • Buy TLC's Greatest Hits on CD+DVD at Amazon

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