Wednesday, December 18, 2013

He-Man Club - Just A Friend by Biz Markie

Ideally the visuals in a music video complement the song so the video adds something that is not there in the original song. You don't want to just show visually what is happening in a song, you need to add to it. This can be very difficult with a song that tells a story. Naturally you want to make a little movie that shows the story from the song. But if the whole story is told in the song, what is the video adding?

Biz Markie's song Just A Friend tells a story about a man, a woman, and her friend. The lyrics are very direct and tell the whole story in plain language. So what can he do in his music video? He discovers that he can use the visuals to create better characterization. Namely, he uses it to make himself look like an idiot. Awesome.

Check it out. Just A Friend by Biz Markie:

The video opens with Markie sitting around talking to his friends. They are making jokes about each other's mothers.

Then some women come by.

The men are extremely interested in them. One of them says, "Let me touch you!" That is super creepy. Why did these women stop? They didn't say anything to the men, they just slinked up to them and then slunk away. I guess they are really into street harassment.

Markie tells his friends to forget about those women. He begins to tell them why...

He clearly understands the importance of pointing to indicate the beginning of the story. Pointing is one of the most important things we have in this world and we need to be pointing as much as possible.

At the beginning of the story Markie is just coming off stage.

We see him drenched in sweat to the point where he needs to wring out a towel because it is totally full of sweat. One of the people who performs with him apparently stands inside a giant toilet. This is sweet. Markie is making himself out to be a buffoon.

He meets a woman backstage and is very interested in what she looks like from behind.

 Because he has already established that he is not very desirable, we suspect that something might be up. He asks her if she has a man, but she says he is "just a friend". We can all see where this is going.

Markie does not, however. He sings about how he has a bunch of friends of both genders so it is no big deal.

All of the friends he shows have nerdy names, wear glasses, are in unfashionable clothing, and are not particularly attractive. Clearly he does not have the kind of friends that the woman has.

Now we see Markie falling in love with the woman. He buys her a nice necklace.

They frolic while wearing swimsuits.

Biz Markie's swimsuit is apparently a shirt with a heart on it and shorts with hearts on them. That is amazing! He is so in love that he dresses like a moron. He is so into her and she just seems amused. Incidentally, when they first met the woman describes his performance using the word amusing. It seems that she does not take him seriously.

She goes away to college and Markie calls her every day.

I can't say enough how much I love his outfit. He looks so pitiful calling her.

One time he calls and a man answers. Look at him!

There's no way he can compete. The woman says that is just her friend, but that's probably how she describes Biz Markie as well.

He goes to visit her at college.

He dresses in his traditional college outfit that seems to consist primarily of a cardigan. We can see that he is out of his element there.

He stands outside her door to build tension. We can sense what will be behind that door.

Also, he hilariously rhymes "dormitory" with "number three".

He opens the door and we see exactly what we expected:

He says, "Oh snap."

That is both sad and hilarious.

As a result, he swears off women.

The sign says "He-Man No Women Allowed Club". She broke his heart.

I think the video makes it much clearer that their relationship was doomed from the start. He was so into her and she was not that into him, and the way they acted in the video makes this clear. I also love how unmercifully Biz Markie makes fun of himself. He doesn't believe that he deserves a good woman because he is a doofus. I don't think he is a doofus, though. He made an awesome video!

I also love what he does for the choruses. The chorus is mostly just piano and singing, although drums come in about halfway through. To show this sophisticated instrumentation this is what we see:

His singing is also delightfully off key. It really adds to his ridiculous charm.

When the drums come in he keeps his wig but loses his dignity so he can rock out.

He's practically like Little Richard there.

This video really warms the cockles of my heart. I like how funny it is and it really makes me like Biz Markie. I feel sorry for him that he is unable to make that woman love him as much as he loves her.

So funny. So sad.


1 comment:

  1. Can you do a comparison to the 2002 reboot?