You’re Not My Real Pac!
I like music videos a lot. More than most people I’d say. They’re a great way of tying music to greater cultural movements. They’re a way to visually connect with an artist beyond their voice on the track. I also seek them out for the pure focus on aesthetics unhindered by plot conventions. A few weeks ago I watched the Migos video for their song “Slippery” feat. Gucci Mane. Now, most people will pick up on the fact that the video calls back to the infamous 90’s pool party scene common to that era. What I was instantly struck by was the uncanny resemblance “Slippery” bears to Tupac’s classic “I Get Around”.
In all art forms, but especially rap, the line between imitation and flattery is razor thin. The home-video effect used in the Migos' video is presumably meant to clue us into the nostalgia of the video, which is something I think is done well here. I think it’d be more effective if we could assume that the majority of Migos' viewers had a working knowledge of Tupac’s videography, but I don’t think we can so it feels more like passing off old tricks as original work whether intentionally or not.
I also think that “Slippery” loses all the fun of the 90’s pool party. Tupac’s playboy antics are replaced with ostentatious product placement. His luscious bubble bath is replaced with a marble shower to make any HGTV watcher drool. And quite frankly, the Migos doesn’t even come close to capturing Tupac’s effortlessly sexy charisma. While I do enjoy the track overall, I think I know which pool party I’d be running to jump in.
Check out the music videos yourself and you tell us which pool party you'd rather attend in the comments.