It’s strange to realise that this song was a one-hit wonder for the Misfits of Science. At the time it seemed like a natural part of the incredibly successful period of number-one singles by New Zealand artists – mostly hip hop – in 2003 and 2004, and with no sign that it was to be a one-off for the group. But as Duncan Greive notes at Audio Culture, the charts “started to resemble a rap version of the then-recent dotcom bubble. That is, any old crew with a semi-plausible single could have a hit.”
“Fools Love” was a good song, but there was nothing very New Zealand about it. While other New Zealand hip hop artists made songs that were firmly rooted in Aotearoa, “Fools Love” sounds like it could have come from anywhere. The video continues with this rootlessness. In fact the only thing that makes it identifiably New Zealand is the NZ On Air logo.
But it’s still a fun video. Directed by Shane Mason and Mark Trethewey, the video takes the Misfits crew and makes their heads big and/or their bodies small. For a song that’s all about mocking bling culture, this animated style keeps it light and doesn’t drag the song down into a massive diss track.
The background is a collage of skyscrapers, limousines, booty girls and all the other trappings of hip hop culture at the time. The end result is a stylish and fun video that surely contributed to the song’s four-week run at number one.
Best bit: the heads down, shoulder-dirt-brushing intro.
Director: Mark Trethewey, Shane Mason
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… instead the sweaty box.