There’s been minor hoopla (a lesser form of ballyhoo) about this new Lolawolf “Bitch” video featuring cha girl Miley.
So IHC called their Resident Arbiter of Film and Televisual Good Taste (me) and were like “Scott, get on this one and set ’em straight fam.” I was up in the crib chopping up beats for my upcoming mixtape Just Kidding, Why Would I Release A Mixtape, I Can Barely Pay My Rent, but I figured I’d break out and be a street prophet for a hot second and drop some dimes on yall:
This is a bad music video, but not for the reasons that everyone is talking about.
First, peep the art in question:
Synopsis: Lolawolf (Zoe Kravitz) and Miley Cyrus sit around a hotel room in their underwear playing cards, pointing toy guns at the camera, smoking a blunt, and taking pictures of each other.
Crowd response went two ways. Either people were like “oh gawd, Miley, you wayward youth. Wrecking ball? More like wrecking your innocence, your precious maidenhood. This girl’s off the rails. We might as well call her Britney Lohan Paris Spears Hilton, because this white girl needs to get her shit together.” Or people were like “uhhh, check your misogyny at the door, so what she’s wearing underwear in a video – does strong female sexuality scare you?!? Patriarchy SMASH!!!”
Which both totally miss the point: that this is a really, really lame video.
Let’s begin with the artificial VHS quality. I don’t believe that this was actually shot on VHS, because there are multiple times where the video quality goes from “home videos circa 1990” scratchy quality to smooth 1080p. Bogus. There are tasteful ways to make a VHS music video in 2015, and then there’s this. If you’re going to go with such an aggressively retro medium, at least be consistent.
Secondly, there’s nothing shocking about girls in underwear. It’s girls… wearing underwear. They do that everyday (I think?). To quote this video, which is apparently narrated by Siri, “one particularly racy scene… shows Zoe, 26, taking a picture of Miley’s behind.” Behind. The video goes on to describe how this is only the icing on Miley’s super sexual publicity cake, but really? She’s not licking a sledgehammer, she’s not taping up her nipples (which is more painful than scandalous). She’s just hanging out in her underoos, taking some selfies, playing go-fish.
There’s also a creepy pee-pee cam in the video. Set to the vaguely, maybe empowering lyrics “who’s the badass bitch that nobody heard that everybody heard of?” there’s this weird shot of Zoe taking a pee. Maybe this is the new frontier, maybe “#freethenipple” has evolved into “#freetheurinarytract.” Again, nothing too weird about girls taking pees. Contrary to everything I heard growing up, women do actually go to the bathroom – pretty regularly in fact (like, once a week at least). The only thing out of the ordinary is the well paid music video director in there with a camera, but we’ve all peed on camera for money so let’s keep this a judgment free zone.
And all this feeds the perpetual internet meat grinder wherein Miley Cyrus does something that would only offend an elderly guy somewhere in the Dakotas, the internet slaps an “OMG Look at what Young Female Artist did this time” on it, and ignores the truth: Lolawolf released a weak music video, more
contrived cheap style than substance, over a catchy song that could have become a party anthem for the whole summer if only it was delivered in the right vehicle.
So for now I’ll retreat back into my highly-opinionated artist’s commune where we ponder these and other high-concept arts (just kidding, I’m actually running late to my shift at Subway), so until the next time I descend from the Heavenly Clouds of Good Taste to bestow my knowledge on you lames, I bid you a fond farewell and a good night.