25 January 2015

Retro Video Unit (1/23/15)

I knew I'd forgotten something... the worst part is I'd already picked a video for this installment, which I don't always accomplish ahead of time. Yesterday was consumed by snow shoveling and binge-watching Transparent (which was steaming free for one day only). Well, let's move on...

I have complicated feelings about rap and hip-hop that I don't really want to get into now, but I can say unequivocally that I like the early stuff better, which brings us to this track I stumbled across a couple of weeks ago. "Going Back to Cali" by LL Cool J was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Less Than Zero and later appeared on LLCJ's third album, Walking with a Panther (1989).

For a rap song it's pretty unusual: the pacing of the rhyming is laid back, almost anti-rap, the production by Rick Rubin is characteristically stripped-down and remarkably detailed at the same time. The video suits the song well, even if it falls into the '80s music video tropes of dancing women, driving, and the use of black and white.

No comments: