In the pages of a gossip magazine, a club full of makeup, small town New Zealand, little girls, and big fat tropical rain.
“Nearly every rap album has that one moment you can’t get with. If you’re a woman, there are at least five.” – Marlon James, New York Times, 2016.
“Next man wanting to freestyle gets kicked in the back, Tony Veitch style” – PNC, “Tonight”, 2009.
Director: Gary Johns
Savage “Hot Like Fire”
“Hot Like Fire” is a pretty standard in-the-club video, but once the chorus hits, it brings a hilarious moment. The lyrics assert that the woman in question has “Such a pretty face that’s why there’s no need for makeup”. And yet every single woman shown dancing in the club is wearing makeup. And not just lipgloss and mascara, but full going-out, in-the-club glam makeup, which just confirms the notion that a lot of men genuinely have no idea when a woman is wearing makeup. Which in turn necessitates Amy Schumer’s “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” exposé of the reality of not wearing makeup. Seriously, if those girls in the video weren’t wearing makeup, they’d look ill.
Director: Ivan Slavov
Smashproof “Ordinary Life”
Smashproof has the anthemic “Ordinary Life”, which reached No.7 in the singles chart. The video is shot in small-village New Zealand. I’m not sure if it’s all shot in the Uruwera village of Minginui, but a lot of is is set there. It’s a former milling town that suffered when the mill closed. But as the video shows, while Minginui is full of decaying buildings, it’s also full of amazing people. The video is beautifully shot, with elegant scenes of the parts of New Zealand that don’t normally make it into music videos. We also catch up with Smashproof, rapping atop a dramatic golden sand dune. But the way things are going, the group is the least interesting part of the video.
Director: Andrew Morton
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Sweet & Irie “Jenny”
Sweet & Irie get adorable with “Jenny”, where lead singer Edward Ru is full to bursting with love for his daughter. The video is simple – Sweet & Irie play the song in a white studio space, cut together with dozens of little girls dancing. The whole thing is completely adorable, and feels like a heartfelt expression of fatherly love.
Tha Feelstyle “Sometimes When It Rains”
Lots of funded videos have been shot in Samoa, but this is the first one I’ve seen that reminds me of when I went there years. Mainly because there’s a lot of rain in the video. Big fat tropical rain getting everything and everyone wet. The song uses rain to symbolise heartache and sadness, but the video shows people still having fun in the rain, fun in the steamy heat. And the video makes downtown Apia look like a bustling metropolis.
Director: Michael Reihana
The Checks “Till the Dance is Over” – missing
“Till the Dance is Over” is a mild-mannered pop track, with a new wave sound sometimes reminiscent of The Cars. There’s no sign of the video, which would normally make me think that one was never made, but Nga Taonga have it in their archive.
Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision