“Suburbia Streets” is the Fast Crew being honest about their upbringing. They didn’t grow up on troubled inner-city neighbourhoods. No, they came from safe middle-class suburbs, where it’s “safe for child’s play, and there’s minimal homeless”.
The video is also an ode to this environment. We see the Crew rapping and singing around the suburbs, wandering the empty streets, inside an empty house and travelling on an empty bus. This is a fairly accurate portrayal of suburbs – during the day they do indeed empty out.
And that’s one of the big weaknesses with the video. For a song that is celebrating the depth and variety of the band’s suburban roots, the video isn’t doing such a great job of showing all that variety. In direct opposition to the lyrics promising that “suburbia is packed with all them cats you’d like to know” and talk of “street hustlers to band geeks, architects to police”, the only life seen in the empty suburbs is from Fast Crew, who are presumedly just there to shoot the video.
There are plenty of videos showing vibrant block parties in poorer neighbourhoods, but maybe this sort of carry-on just doesn’t happen in a nice middle-class area. Perhaps they’d find more suburban life down at the local Lone Star restaurant on a Thursday night.
Best bit: the very serious vocoder tube-singing bit – “suburbiaaaaaa”.
Director: Tim Groenendaal
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… urban and dirty.