Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Don't Know What They Want From Me - Mo Money Mo Problems by The Notorious B.I.G.

I am a white person who grew up in the suburbs. There are two types of music that live in the suburbs amongst white youth. The first is loud, heavy, and fast music. This means heavy metal or punk rock. This is what I listened to. The other option is hip hop. I never got into hip hop for whatever reason. Probably because I am extremely racist.

This doesn't mean I am unaware of any rap music. Whenever it gets hot in herre I immediately take off all my clothes. One song that has worked its way directly into my brain is Mo Money Mo Problems. The concept, that having more money leads to more problems in your life (basically the with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility speech from Spider-man), is 100% part of our culture now. And the song is so catchy!

Unfortunately, the video totally ruins it. What happened was The Notorious B.I.G. died. This let Puff Daddy take over completely. As a result he plays golf?!? in the video. Don't ask me.

Mo Money Mo Problems by The Notorious B.I.G.:

I can't get over all the golf. Apparently that's what it's all about? I think Tiger Woods was just becoming a thing when this video came out.

In the extended pre-song scene we see Puff Daddy conferring with his caddy.

Mace is the announcer, pretending to be as boring as possible.

He shoots...

He scores! Everything is very exciting.

I, of course, hate this whole pre-song thing. What is it there for? It adds absolutely nothing to the video, isn't funny, and doesn't really make any sense.

Finally the song begins. Mace and Puff Daddy float in the air while a woman (not sure who she is) sings on a screen.

I like having real people in the room plus a person on a screen. That is a pretty cool idea.

A group of people in white dance in a blue room.

Mace and Puff Daddy dance in a black room with white lights while wearing red jumpsuits.

This is basically the whole video through the first two verses. Everything is weird and futuristic. Everyone is dancing and having fun.

During the chorus we see the woman singing on the screen while the men float and dance.

Puff Daddy carefully positions himself to block Mace from the camera.

I really like the video up to this point. It is ridiculous, but I love that they rented something that makes them float! I think it just blows air up really hard so it's like you are always falling at terminal velocity. Sweet.

At this point the video is ruined. The music stops and Puff Daddy talks.

What does he say? "Mo money mo problems." Uh, that's the message of the song! Just let the song play! We want to hear the song!

The song resumes and it is time for silver jumpsuits.

I get a kick out of these dancers. Their clothing is so baggy it's like they are little kids getting ready to go out into the snow.

The music stops again!(!!!!)! This time to see some archival footage of The Notorious B.I.G. explaining that mo money means mo problems.

Again, that is what the whole song is about! Why do we need these interludes that break the flow? The song discusses what changes in these men's lives when they get more money. We imagine that money will solve our problems. Money does not change our social class, though. They are still black men who grew up (I think? I'm not about to start doing research) poor. Money only removes money problems. It doesn't cause people to respect you or make you happy. And a whole host of other problems come with it. If they grew up upper-middle class, their motto would probably be more money more yachts. Anyway, stop stopping the song!

The final verse is by The Notorious B.I.G. But when they filmed this video he was dead. So what do they do?

More archival footage. Here he is on the screen rapping while the other guys float around.

A party starts in front of more archival footage.

It seems like Puff Daddy and Mace are manning the controls of the footage? Who knows. Just making sure that Puff Daddy gets more screen time.

The video ends with the real theme of this song: golf.

And explosions with falling money.

Also: hero walk.

So is this video good? No, it's pretty bad. But there is a good video in there. Just edit out everything that happens when the song is not playing and it would be fun! I like the ridiculous costumes, ridiculous sets, and Puff Daddy constantly standing in front of the camera trying to look cool. I think they wanted to create an homage to The Notorious B.I.G.'s life, but I think the song does that the best. Just give us the song, that's what we want.


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