Arca's twisted take on big bootys, A$AP Rocky’s streetwear diss and Kindness gets a little loose – we tally up the last four weeks' must-sees
ARCA – “THIEVERY”
So far, we’ve seen Iggy and J-Lo collaborate in a video that is essentially just butts, her Minajesty inspire memes with her derrière and Island Records invite everyone with a “booty like two planets” to participate in a twerking championship with a £1000 cash prize. This video is Arca’s slightly more disturbing take on the ‘age of the big booty’, with Xen, a digitally-rendered, gender-ambiguous character dancing away like NYC artist Jordan Wolfson’s animatronic robot. Arca has revealed that this "Window Licker"-like figure is his alter ego that occasionally comes out. Usually after smoking a nice blunt.
KINDNESS – “THIS IS NOT ABOUT US”
In his latest video, Kindness aka Adam Bainbridge is both smooth and awkward in an arrangement that looks like it was dreamt up by Milli Vanilli circa 1989. It was actually choreographed by Karla Garcia, who dances expertly alongside him in front of the flashing, multi-coloured LCD screen. “Some of my favourite videos are simple choreographies,” Bainbridge has said. “I’m glad to have had the chance to work with Karla (Garcia) and to appreciate even more the role of the choreographer. It’s an ego-less thing to give yourself over to making someone else dance as well as possible, especially when they’re not nearly on your level.”
UZI – “PPL NEVER CHANGE”
Paris Hilton, 2 Chainz, Amanda Lepore, Whoopi Goldberg and Miley Cyrus all make random cameos in Uzi’s latest multi-coloured moving scrapbook. Glitchy VHS clips and fuzzy neon flashes are stitched together against auto-tuned vocals and millennial beats, in this scattered, plasticised portrait of Hollywood. Having directed videos for Kreayshawn, Grimes and Wiz Khalifa, as well as countless of their own, the pop-rap collective have a particular soft spot for the aesthetic charm of old skool technology, often choosing to shoot videos on JVC Super VHS-S and Canon T2i.
FLYING LOTUS – “NEVER CATCH ME FT. KENDRICK LAMAR”
The mournful transforms into the joyous in this dark and beautifully powerful visual creation from LA beat maker Flying Lotus and rapper Kendrick Lamar. Tokyo-born filmmaker Hiro Murai directed the video, where two children awake from the dead and dance blissfully in front of their oblivious funeral congregation before dancing toward a fresh, matte sky. Murai, who has directed videos for St. Vincent and Earl Sweatshirt said, “That feeling of wavering between reality and supernatural has always been really interesting to me – the idea of something supernatural happening in the context of something really mundane.”
JAMES WOLF – “CAN’T GET ENOUGH”
This video from James Wolf looks a bit like if Miami Vice had been melted and remoulded into strange shapes and objects and viewed through a kaleidoscope. It’s essentially a classic pop video to go with a big pop track – at least at first glance. But a few seconds in and this pastel-dipped tropical dream morphs into a digitally hypnotic and bizarre trip that propels it above many major label offerings.
BUSDRIVER – “EAT RICH”
There is something vaguely gross about this video from Busdriver (apart from the bit where he eats pig shit off a plate, which is definitely gross). Busdriver’s own head is the main platter amongst a tasteless-looking feast, in a move that suggests the stomach-turning cannibal appetites of the elite. Statements soon veer off into the plain absurd as Busdriver sprays a line-up of pubic hair implants before his head flaps open like a hollow watermelon.
JJ – “DYNASTI”
Blood, fire, sand and glitter collide in this elemental, stylistic video from Scandinavian duo JJ, a band known for mixing dreamy, washed-out soft pop aesthetics with traditional hip hop language and ideas. The video follows singer Elin Kastlander cloaked in blood-coloured robes, traipsing through the sparse desert before she sets a piano ablaze and engages in a gold glitter-covered satanic ritual. It’s epic, highly cinematic and really quite camp.
WET – “DON’T WANNA BE YOUR GIRL”
Whether you’re escaping a shit job or a toxic relationship, there is no feeling as sweet as liberation. This video for New York trio Wet’s fluid, lilting pop track “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl” embodies this feeling perfectly – the old fashioned way (being naked amongst nature) – in this beautifully intimate, organic visual creation. The subtle sexual vibes in this are probably courtesy of Beauty Today, the new female-led zine that “perverts conventions of sexuality and gender” and presents “nude photography, erotic fiction and illustrations”, with whom Wet collaborated with for this video.
A$AP ROCKY – “MULTIPLY”
“For all the real n*ggas died/fake n*ggas gonna multiply” so starts A$AP Rocky’s latest track, which features Juicy J and pays tribute to the realness of UKG rapper Pimp C. So far, “Multiply” and it’s accompanying video has mostly come under scrutiny for throwing shade at Been Trill and Hood By Air and simultaneously sparking online debate about hip hop’s obsession with the catwalk. However, all this beef aside, and we’ve got another vigorous video from our favourite A$AP – one in which he runs amok with the rest of the A$AP mob in NYC and spits in front of bold, absorptive technicolour screens.
NILS BECH – “I PUNISH YOU”
What happens when you mix a bunch of drunk performance artists, a fashion photographer (Benjamin Alexander Huseby), a few camera phones and a big, fat marker pen? This brilliantly fun and liberating video for Norweigan electronic musician Nils Bech was filmed spontaneously under these circumstances and the result, while bizarre, is so freeing you have to catch your breath.