In the above video for “My Love,” the main single from The-Dream’s critically valued 2009 CD “Love vs. Money” The-Dream attempts to press home the point to a befuddled Mariah Carey that “it takes time to get money,” likely a thankless and futile task given the widely rumored fact that Mariah lost her damn mind back in the Glitter era and could well continue to wander in her own mental wilderness, and you know what else, who fries sausages and eggs in the same pan. Yet you have to admire The-Dream’s determination, if not the impression that he is on the verge of taking that frying pan upside Mariah’s head, to make her understand that it takes time to get money.
This is one of many themes of control that The-Dream, who seems overweight and may own several houses, explores in “Love vs. Money,” a powerful work that insists upon a man’s place and how he is utlimately powerlessness before the persistence of time when there is money needing to be gotten. Hinting at the two great American eventualities, the fact that The-Dream is willing to lie, cheat, steal and beguile in his pursuit of money probably is beside the point. More critical is the constraints of a mortal life and the limits this inevitably places on money getting and several other activities, including but not limited to Mariah Carey features and R&B beefs with man-about-award-shows Chris Brown, who has vowed to destroy The-Dream’s career at all costs.
Back to the video though, is Mariah Carey’s confusion or refusal to accept The-Dream’s argument intentional? Who can tell — she has suffered from “exhaustion” in the past after all — but it sure doesn’t make his job any easier. He is a tortured man who is racing against the clock always as he tries to get money and keep Mariah under his thumb. (For the record we all know he is just playing a character, okay)
Nike’s skateboarding division touched similar touchy touchstones in “Nothing But the Truth” a couple years back, in a series of nigh-unwatchable skit segments that rapidly ascended to the top of skateboarding’s most-skipped sections just behind Jordan Richter’s contribution to the Blind video. And rightly so, but I’m not sure Nike got as much credit as they were due for the sheer weirdness (hubris?) involved in that whole effort. Though I have no particular effort to try and wrap my brain around some of those skits ever again when there’s that Landscape video to watch, I do sometimes think about what they were trying to do with that skit where Reese Forbes runs into the fog and returns a different yet still flannelled man entirely.
But as they keep pumping out the internet videos I gotta say I kind of like the way Nike moves, as much as it vaguely saddens me to shuffle into the park and see the swoosh adorning every other kid’s feet. Ten years ago people were coming up to Tony Hawk after the premiere of “The End” and saying they hadn’t seen a video like that since the Bones Brigade era, and I think Nike has the potential to do some similar sort of high-concept thing, provided they rein in whatever ad agency cooks up the theme for their next full-length production.
In the meantime there’s been a slew of sweet clips on their site recently like this “120 minutes”-esque clip with Matt Beach, Al Partenen, Daniel Shimizu and Chet Childress tilting at sketchy warehouse rigs; last week they had this Dan Magee-directed clip from Italy featuring a heap of Euros like the man Luy Pa-Sin, lots of backside flips and interesting angles. The usual complaints about slow-mo HD footage aside, these are alright, but I’ve got higher hopes for their Debacle amateur video, which may or may not be a no-bullshit endeavor with ripping Grant Taylor footage etc. but will be Nike’s first big attempt to redirect their creative ocean-liner after encountering the “NBTT” iceberg. Forecast clear to partly cloudy…