There is a pleasure in being able to sing out loud in a taxi when your favorite song comes on your iPod / phone. That pleasure is matched by being able to view that song that turns you into an Idols hopeful on your TV screen.
For the longest time, SA hip hop had chart toppers and dozen songs that are viral in clubs and phones but the visuals have been lacking. Some of the classic albums had one, if any, music videos to match the brimstone of albums they are.
For the past 2 to 3 years, my TV screen (which I view sporadically) and my data usage has been attributed to YouTube especially for SA hip hop music videos. A lot of artists are taking the virility of their bangers beyond earphones and 6 by 9 speakers of whips into comfortable lounges and world wide web.
My issue, one of, is the monotony of the music videos. It seems like all there is to hip hop is bottle popping (this my second issue actually), beautiful women usually in scantily clad clothing, showing off of money and expensive cars.
Off the top of your head, how many SA music videos are NOT party scenes? We get it; you prefer plastic cups, and red is your favorite color, over breakable glasses. We get it; in your life you only surrounded by women that are tens on the beauty scale. We get it; the cars you drive are Top Gear material. We get it; your money long that a money phone is the new trend of showing how many notes you carry at one point. But, is that all you have to show us?
When an artists says they are shooting a music video, I envision the lyrics coming to life. I envision the bars in motion picture. There is a need to show off how grandeur a rapper’s life is, we can attribute that to majority of the music videos being mainly about partying, so it is inevitable that a showcase on how you ball out is what you put on the screen.
As mentioned, a lot of artists have quality albums that you have a list of songs that are gems and stay on heavy rotation on your music device. Not all of them are party songs. What makes those songs undeserving of videos? What prompts an artists to have a filmography of videos of just bottle popping in a *insert car brand that is getting free advertising* while with 4 delectably beautiful women that look like they Victoria Secrets models and moving around aimlessly in the car?
For party songs, yes go wild. I wanna see people have fun but it seems like that’s all the visuals we getting from SA hip hop.Where’s the story telling songs, the personal songs, anything else on your album apart from partying?
As many as the videos are that are flooding TV channels and getting multiple views on YouTube, the similarities are uncanny. SA hip hop has captured millions of viewers and what do they have to take away from it? We a culture that lives in the club, expensive cars, swap models and just consume alcohol.
I choose to believe there’s more to SA hip hop than that.
Written by Siphiwe Zwane ( @SDotJR_ )