D2S “All Day”

2003-d2s-all-dayWith D2S’s previous video “Ride With Me”, my complaint was that they came across as too ordinary to be pop stars. Well, “All Day” takes care of that, with the Ivan Slavov-directed video fully embracing the bling culture of the 2000s.

The video opens with one of the crew getting tattooed while chilling in a lush penthouse apartment. He gets a phone call on, er, an ’80s brick-style mobile phone covered with gold smiley-face Duraseal. Yeah, bling!

The group show up on lowrider bicycles and go for a green-screen ride around Auckland, ending up in front of a mural depicting an 1950s American diner. Then they go to a place where a group of young women who aren’t wearing any bras under their tops are washing some lowrider cars. If it were me – if I were going to wash a lot of cars – I would want to wear a good sports bra.

They learned how to bling out their phone from a Good Morning craft segment
They learned how to bling out their phone from a Good Morning craft segment
On the YouTube comments, director Ivan Slavov reckons this was New Zealand’s first lowrider video. And there was a bit of trouble on the day of the video shoot: “There was only a handful of Low Riders in New Zealand, on the way to the shoot the COPS pulled them over and only two cars managed to get away and make it to the shoot! ( one I had to pay a TOW truck to bring”.

The song is pretty average, like an attempt to capture some of the magic of Ja Rule and the Murder Inc Records sound. But then it throws up mundane raps lyrics like, “Wait a minute cos I gots to know your name / Since you walked into my life things have never been the same”. The rain in Spain falls mainly on the rhyming dictionary.

One of the cars in the video has the licence plate PIMPIN. Of course it does. But just when the video is at the point of turning into self-parody, something delightfully weird happens. In a long-shot of the band, suddenly there’s a CGI bike breakdancing on the ground in front of them. No one in the video reacts to it. It’s just there.

But that’s not the weirdest thing. The video ends with a parody of the iconic moon silhouette shot from ET. Only instead of tandoming with an alien, the four D2S guys each have a lady-shaped passenger on their handlebars.

Best bit: the one car-washer who is boldly wearing rollerblades.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Next… fun at the summit.

D2S “Ride with Me”

2002-d2s-ride-with-meYou know on shows like the X Factor, sometimes at an audition a judge will say “You look like a pop star”? Well, D2S don’t look like popstars. They look like some lads from a rugby club who have got together and made a music video to raise money for their club’s upcoming tour of Canberra.

But as it happens D2S (which is short for Destined 2 Shyne, which is long for for Destined to Shine) were a real pop group and “Ride with Me” was their Neptunes-inspired single. It had a lot of airplay on Mai FM and reached 14 in the pop charts.

It’s a pretty generic piece of early 2000s R&B pop. The lyrics are like a grab bag of genre cliches, a world of ballers, players and shorties. And then there’s the bit where “trust me” is rhymed with “oooh weee”.

The video is set in the showroom of a car dealer on Great North Road. It seems like they’ve chosen that setting for a bling take on the “ride with me” theme, but given that no one touches the cars – they only dance around them – it literally seems like a band who’s been allowed into a car dealer to shoot their music video with the proviso that no one’s allowed to touch the cars.

There’s one bit of the video that is a little disturbing. One of the guys sings “you know I want to be in you, girl” and he has a really aggressive look on his face. It’s scary, not sexy. This is why R&B videos typically have girls in them – to stop things feeling like a bunch of guys who have been in prison too long. (Check out Ja Rule and Bobby Brown’s magnificent “Thug Lovin'” for bling and girls and music done extravagantly well.)

That’s the problem. D2S had a decent song and just wanted to make a cool music video, like the sort of R&B videos they saw on TV. Curiously enough, a couple of years later Dei Hamo came out with the similarly themed “We Gon Ride”, that actually managed a properly blinged-out music video. But it’s hard to make a $5000 video grant look that fancy, even more so when you surround the group with $50,000 cars.

Best bit: the walk along the Great North Road, glistening in the rain.

Next… everyday is noisy and bright.