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Tommy Cash - Pussy Money Weed video

Watch the stunning new video from post-Soviet rapper Tommy Cash

The Estonian rapper’s new visual, ‘Pussy Money Weed’, features dancers with disabilities in a dystopian universe

Even if you’ve never listened to Estonian rapper Tommy Cash, you might have seen his music videos. Clips like “Surf” and “Winaloto” have racked up millions of views for their absurd imagery and degenerate sense of humour, where Cash – an odd figure with his skinny frame, crooked teeth, and pencil moustache – appears in increasingly outrageous situations. In one, he raps while his head is squashed between two asses; in another, he humps a desktop globe in a geography classroom. They’ve spawned a whole meta-genre of reaction videos, usually with titles like “THE CRAZIEST MUSIC VIDEO ON YOUTUBE”.

But there’s more to Cash than crude comedy. Growing up in a poor district of Estonia’s capital Tallinn, Cash developed a style of what he calls “post-Soviet rap” that chimes with a younger generation who grew up in the aftermath of the country’s independence. Though hugely popular across eastern Europe, he’s recently started making in-roads in western countries too. Late last year he appeared in Charli XCX’s star-studded “Boys” video before collaborating with the pop star on “Delicious”, taken from her hypermodern Pop 2 mixtape (Cash explains over the phone that he actually suggested the tape’s title). Meanwhile his new single “Pussy Money Weed” arrives on London-based experimental pop label PC Music, who he describes as “legendary”, and comes produced by its founder A. G. Cook.

The “Pussy Money Weed” video, directed and styled by Cash with his frequent collaborator Anna-Lisa Himma, is another example of his singular vision. In it, dancers – many of them with disabilities – move inside an abandoned building in a dustbowl parallel universe. “You can still be hot even when you are dancing on blades in a deserted zoo on Mars,” Cash explains in a statement, while over the phone he puts it more directly: “I’m just trying to show different people and different places, things that people maybe aren’t so comfortable seeing or going (to).”

Watch the video below, and read on for a short conversation with the rapper.

Your new song is called ‘Pussy Money Weed’, which is this super cliché rap track title.

Tommy Cash: It’s a very stereotypical title, like Rap 101 – but I don’t think it sounds like Rap 101. When you watch the video, it’s completely different, it’s not what you were expecting to see. I love playing with stereotypes.

What are its lyrics about?

Tommy Cash: You know, I even don’t remember (laughs). I can’t really tell you. It’s a vibe! The most important thing is the vibe, it’s the music itself – I’m not a storyteller type of rapper.

You worked with A. G. Cook on it, and it’s coming out on PC Music. How’d that come about?

Tommy Cash: At first I was talking to (PC Music artist) felicita through Soundcloud. I didn’t know that felicita was in PC Music at first, I just loved his music. It was time to meet up when I had my first concert in London. They’re, like, legendary.

The video is set in this sort of weird parallel universe. What was your idea for it?

Tommy Cash: I can’t recall where it came from. Usually the process is so long – you’re putting the pieces together, then one day it’s there and you’re like, ‘Wow!’ (One thing I do remember is) we wanted to make this parallel universe and go far, far away from home. I don’t want to tell you where we shot it, but at first, I took my girlfriend there. We weren’t shooting a video, we were kind of on a date. I had this idea that we should do a video there. I wanted to use dance – but I wanted to present it not as dancing, but as moving, as being alive. Not, like, Step Up.

“I’m just trying to show different people and different places, things that people maybe aren’t so comfortable seeing or going (to)” – Tommy Cash

And how did you settle on the idea of using disabled models, who you don’t normally see in music videos?

Tommy Cash: It’s like Kendrick said, ‘I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of Photoshop… Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretchmarks.’ For me, it’s kind of the same. I’m more drawn to reality. When I present myself, I’m not covered in jewelry that I don’t really own. (With my videos) I’m just trying to show different people and different places, things that people maybe aren’t so comfortable seeing or going (to). For me, all different people are beautiful.

How did your tune with Charli XCX come about?

Tommy Cash: She’s a good friend of A. G.’s, so it’s not that complex. At first I was in her ‘Boys’ video – and that was so random, it’s only because I was in London with some guys in the studio and Charli wanted me in there. Right time, right place, as they say. Later, working on Pop 2, I was in the studio with A. G. and Charli – we had a lot of sessions together, even before that, we recorded many tracks – (and) the funny thing is, I came up with the name Pop 2. That’s a weird fact. We were just trying to figure it out the name, A. G. was like, ‘What should it, what should it be?’ And I was like, ‘Dude, what do you think about Pop 2?’

You’ve described your music as ‘post-Soviet rap’ in the past. Do you feel that tag’s still relevant to what you’re doing, or are you starting to move away from it?

Tommy Cash: You know, I’ll be that ‘til I die. I’m one of the guys who’s really from this place, not just robbing somebody’s subculture. I’ll be post-Soviet ‘til I die because those things are really my home.

Tommy Cash tours Europe from February 23 until April 21