As the Ghosty Awards are coming closer and closer, I figured it’s worth taking a look at some of the nominees. By that, I mean for you to literally look at and watch the five videos nominated for a Best Music Video Ghosty. Each of these videos is deserving in its own way, and I’m adding my personal commentary as to why I felt each deserved a nomination. After watching, don’t forget to vote for your favorite music video. And song. And album. And Alt-Country act. And… well, you get the idea.
Alsace Carcione, “Black America”
On the surface, there’s not a lot to this video. The first shot is of a television set broadcasting footage of Ferguson, after which Ms. Carcione spends most of the video in various personas throwing down her rhymes. Yet it’s the simplicity of this video, matched with its razor sharp lyrics, that draws the viewer in. Scratch that, drawing the viewer in is too tame of a phrase. Ms. Carcione’s dead, cold stare into the camera as she delivers her message forces viewers to pay attention. I’m sure many will find this video disturbing and difficult to watch. But that’s the point. This is her unflinching, uncompromising examination of race relations in America. Some will be moved, others may be angered, but all will feel the power of her message in the video.
Ducado Vega & Zenya Vi, “Hella”
We now transition from the most intense video of the five to the most fun of the five videos. This video is camp at its finest, complete with all the fun you could want. Lead singer Ducado Vega being kidnapped by a group of gorgeous females? Check. Zenya to the rescue with a pink ax? Check. Jenn “Zooki” Sturges of (monkeysphere) as the ringleader of the kidnappers? Check. Awesome cinematography? Check. All that’s missing is Zenya kissing her pink ax. Oh wait, it’s got that too.
Rahim Quazi, “Ghost Hunting”
When people speak of ghosts, the first image that comes to mind is spirits of those who have past on. Yet ghosts can also be used to symbolized the past, particularly a past that we miss. This video cleverly blurs the line between the new ideas. One could easily debate whether Rahim and/or the woman in the video (played by Ginny Mac, shown above) are ghosts that have passed on, or alive in body but not in spirit. The video is a love story between the two characters looking to connect, whether it be here on earth or in the more spiritual sense. I’ll let the readers debate the deeper meaning of the video, but there’s no doubt of the power of this Ghost story.
Richard Gilbert, “I Love the Night”
There’s something about this song that strikes a unique chord within me. For as much as people view the night as a time of partying and excitement, I’ve often found a quiet, introspective peace in being out in the night. There’s a beauty in the sights, sounds, and light contrasting with the night sky. For me, “I Love the Night” captures all that I find so special about the night. Oh, and the song’s pretty darn cool too.
$kaduf, “40 oz. & Big B’s Burger”
You know all the rap video cliches. You’ve seen the twerking, the gold chains, the dancing, the champagne, and all the other images of wealth and partying that are standard fare in hop-hop. Now throw all that imagery away, because $kaduf has no need for following the tired video formula. In fact, his video (and the song, for that matter) is the antithesis of hip-hop opulence. The video was filmed outside Big B’s burger and the Conoco gas station that was attached to it. Throughout the video, the video flashes images of inside the convenience store, along with $kaduf rapping and enjoying his 40 oz. from a brown paper bag. Like many of the other videos nominated, $kaduf realizes that often the simple and straight forward approach to a music video can be the most powerful and compelling, augmenting the song’s message without ever distracting from it. And when you’ve got storytelling skills as strong as $kaduf, his message needs to remain front and center, as it does in “40 oz. & Big B’s Burger”.