At the very beginning of the newly released video for “Luxury,” off Azealia Banks’ Fantasea mixtape, a title screen informs us that it is not in fact merely a music video like all the other music videos we’ve been watching for the past 30 years, but “a film by Clarence Fuller,” which of course makes it more artistic and more important and just all around fancier and better and probably more expensive or whatever. Except in actual fact, it is just a plain old music video, and not even a particularly good one!
The song is essentially a throwaway: less three minutes long, built around a likable enough but totally lightweight hook and featuring just one rapped verse, from which not a single line is likely to really register. The accompanying “short film,” though, which, again, is actually just plain old music video, is even less noteworthy. It’s shot in black and white (gah, so serious!), and there’s some walking around on NYC streets, as well as some dancing on NYC rooftops. And then that’s pretty much all there is. Unless you count Azealia Banks’ midriff, the constant exposure of which seems to be the only reason the video was even made in the first place.
There are no explosions or elaborate choreography, no staged knife-fights or even any semblance of a plot or any possible metaphorical interpretation. This would all be fine, of course, were it not sabotaged from the get-go by such an eye-rolling display of self-importance. The desire for your work to appear substantial is admirable, but it’s not nearly enough.
Follow Mike Conklin on Twitter @LMagMusic, where he is generally less grumpy than he appears in this post.