Tuesday, 14 December 2010

When capitalism exposes itself...

Whilst Nicki Minaj might be packing abnormally exciting amounts of arse (that's right, we don't say 'ass' at Pop Cultureddd, we say 'arse') and making it look outrageously good, the blatant brand pushing of her latest "collaboration" has left me feeling decidedly less enthused.

Of late Nicki Minaj has become a hip-hip and r'n'b sensation both here in the UK and more internationally. And whilst the powers of corporate promotion have largely become acceptable there are glimpses of its inner workings that are just too ugly to allow to go unnoticed. A bit like when there was a near moral panic over the X Factor auditions being (or not being) auto-tuned. Or when once great bands who stated several years back that they would only reunite for a sizable sum of cash then have all recently started to reunite. Or when you put accidentally put on Radio 1.

Well, Nicki Minaj had done this song with will.i.am -- which is obviously awful in and of itself because he is a member of the Black Eyed Peas, who will stop at nothing to ruin chart pop music and every possible encounter you may have with a popular shop/club/bar/television programme/fragrance/anything that might make them money -- they realised a video for this song. I somehow found myself watching nearly all of it despite the presence of will.i.am. I didn't particularly enjoy any of it. In fact, I had what a questionnaire might categorise as a 'strong dislike' for it.

After some time I felt like I could have forgave Nicki Minaj for this sin.

Then I saw that rather uncouthly the video has been re-released and now also featured Cheryl Cole. But how do you re-release a video, you might be wondering? Well essentially you have Cheryl stand in front of a green-blue-who-cares-what-colour screen and jiggle about and then place those shots into the video. You might even get her to record some vocals singing over the top of will.i.am.

Original video:

Re-released video:

Regardless of whether this is a 'remix'. It is a sickening attempt to further exploit the fanbases of the requisite artists involved. Reportedly Cheryl is attempting to establish herself in the US to go and pedal her brand there and no doubt Nicki Minaj would love to gain a few of her Peoples' Princess fanbase here in the UK.

It is all a bit too painfully obvious. Where is the illusion? Smoke and mirrors? The magic of consumer capitalism has failed quite spectacularly here.

And do you know what annoys me the most? Nicki has several changes of outfit throughout the video, as is the expectation of any music video in the 21st century. However, the best Cheryl can muster is a pair of sunglasses for a few frames of the video! Wardrobe fail!


Colin said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. Best thing you've written in a long-time (and you've written some great pieces of late!). More powwaahhhhh to your keyboard fingers, comrade. Keep up the good fight.

Mulrine said...

Thanks, Colin. I am always fairly wary when writing anything like this. Your comment made me extremely happy.