Amazing Music Videos : Sabotage by Beastie Boys

Sabotage was the first single of the eclectic 1994 release Ill Communication. If I remember correctly, the hilarious video directed by Spike Jones is what propelled that strange hip hop/rock song to the top.

This parody of 1970s style cop shows was nominated for four MTV music video awards, but didn’t win any in the end. That doesn’t matter. It definitely deserves a spot on my amazing music videos list. Sure, the story makes no sense, but it serves its purpose well: providing the opportunity for 70s style dramatic cop & robber chasing, busting stuff open, jumping and sliding over car hoods… Utterly useless moves, but they are quite intense! Can you hear the squeeking tires from here? Are you nauseous from the over-the-shoulder camera action and all the zoom-in/zoom-out shots?

But the characters really are the icing on the cake. A nice little touch. Too bad that just when you’re done reading one’s pointlessly detailed info, he’s already exploded. And the secondary characters with their elaborate costumes and styles are super intriguing, but they get thrown over a bridge even faster.

Now, are our downtown streets well guarded by the intriguing Cochese and his boots, the chief and his axe, Bobby the rookie and his debatable choice of interrogation style, and the low-key Bunny?… Yes, I saw you Bunny, and I am grateful for your 2 second presence, since you seem to be the only not ultra violent fake cop around in this video.

If one of the Beastie Boys’ uncle had an old 1970s blue car that he didn’t mind seeing roughed up, then this video must have cost a ridiculously low amount of money, given that there are always garbage bins and cardboxes laying around. Well, you’d have to pay for the hotel room, a few props, and that guy’s salary for holding up trafic all day. And the person doing the editing of dozens of 3 second shots! But seriously, it always amazes me that so many memorable videos aren’t all about spending lots of money on cool visual effects. It’s all about the concept. The visual effects, or rather stunts, here, are old school to say the least, and it works perfectly well. That’s basically the concept.

So, thanks Beastie Boys, I laughed again, twenty years later, watching your video. And here’s a hint that your video marked a generation : for many years, people came to Halloween partys dressed up as your intricately defined characters. How’s that for an unofficial award!

Highlights : too many, so enjoy the whole thing. 😉

Four Outkast albums in one post

The title is misleading… I posted one music video for each of the four following albums.

(1) ATLiens from ATLiens. I had that song on an old mixtape and it brings back memories for me. So sue me! Why the Ancient Egypt concept? No freakin clue. (2) Rosa Parks from Aquemini. When is there EVER a harmonica break during a hip hop song? (3) Bombs over badgad from Skantonia. Very very good. Really love the beat. (4) Hey ya from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Just cause it’s a memorable video.

Something other than “gangsta rap”… The Roots!

Sadly, because the dreadful insipid gangsta rap genre got way too much exposure on musical channels, many people assume that’s all there is to know about rap and hip hop…

Yet, there are many great hip hop bands that have incredible talent, lots of interesting things to say, and a unique way of performing.

The Roots is one of these bands that definitely have something special. This American hip hop group from Philadelphia has an groovy jazzy feel. The musical instruments are always up front: the keyboards, the drums, the base, the guitar… and the wonderful rapping sounds like an instrument as well. There’s a magical moment on the 1999 live “Come alive” CD when the rapping indicates how the musical phrase will be played subsequently by each instrument. A unique musical experience.

The Roots sing about human society and life’s struggles with intelligent and insightful lyrics, great rhythms and really catchy beats. As far as I can remember, every album met with critical acclaim. Their breakthrough album “Things fall apart” remains a classic. With such wonderful songs as Adrenaline, 100% dundee, You got me (with Erika Badu), Next Movement, Step into the Realm, … it’s a great way to get acquainted with their music.