Chong Nee has previously shown up with videos for his work with AKA Brown and Dei Hamo, but “Thin Line” was his first solo video. The song, an R&B ode to a straying lover, is underpinned by a quirky keyboard loop that starts to outstay its welcome after about a minute.
The video starts by establishing Chong Nee in a somewhat unsympathetic light. He’s spying on his girlfriend, watching her laughing with another man at a basketball game. There’s another scene where the girlfriend is attempting to relax in a candlelit bath, except Chong Nee is also in the bathroom, emoting “I don’t want to live my life this waay-ay-eee-eeee.” Dude, she’s not going to cheat on you when she’s alone in the bath.
Or is there a supernatural explanation for all this? Of course there is: Chong Nee is a ghost. The M. Night Shyamalan-style shock twist comes near the end when a club patron walks through Chong Nee. And even beyond the grave, he’s still spying on his girlfriend at the club.
I guess this is the frustration for Ghost Chong Nee: he probably doesn’t feel that his relationship has ended, so when he sees his girlfriend with other guys, it feels like she’s cheating on him. Meanwhile the girlfriend has had to deal with the death of her boyfriend, and might just be getting back into the social scene. She doesn’t need to be haunted by the jealous ghost of her ex. Where’s Bruce Willis when you need him?
Dei Hamo teams up with Chong Nee for a declaration of his goals in life. That’s good. It helps to have goals.
Much of the video takes place in front of a CGI background. It’s pretty basic – just yellow pillars and plain red backdrops. It was likely made using the coolest technology at the time, but a decade later it ends up looking really cheap. The better scenes involve real settings, or real props in front of a CGI background .
Dei Hamo shares his wish to buy fancy cars for himself and his dad, and he goes into quite specific technical detail about the car, which takes the video into Top Gear territory. But as Dei Hamo explained to the Herald in 2005, “Kids are always asking me, ‘Where’s your big red truck?’ If I really had that much money I’d be very modest.”
There’s also a scene dedicated to technology. Dei Hamo is shown in playing a Nintendo DS, his “email address” is shown on screen (firstname.lastname@example.org, lolz). “I’ll get my lawyer to fax you back”, Dei Hamo threatens, knowing the brutal force of ’80s communication technology. Even more fierce – Dei Hamo takes a phone call on his Pocket PC phone with a flip-out keyboard and running Windows Mobile. Embarrassed 4 u, dude.
Much of the song is about how Dei Hamo is so cool because his rhymes are so fresh – and that is true. But musically the song is a bit flat (the chorus is forgettable) and the video involves so much that it ends up feeling quite unfocused.
Best bit: the parody of Eminem in 8 Mile, complete with the sign reading “8km to South Auckland” (Mt Wellington?)