I counted 140 shots in the three minute video for “Dior” by the late rapper superstar meteoric success story or cautionary tale, Pop Smoke. This song was the first song I added to my Apple stream — I pay $10 each month for unlimited.
I would say someone could write a master’s thesis on this video. I think my favorite part is the young man – not Pop Smoke – dancing. Maybe he appears two or three times, a continuation of the same shot or scene. There are also: cars, woman’s buttocks, money, smoke, food, shoes, jeans, women fixing their hair, a scene of Pop Smoke stepping out of character to put his arm around a young, shorty; (unless he’s just hitting on her – but it looked tender enough); I would say 80 percent or more of the people featured are people of color. There may be one white guy, or a very light-skinned mixed race person, on the the body guards or crew. I like when he makes a little trigger with his hands, in time to, I think “she likes the way that I …”.
I think the name Pop Smoke is referring to the idea that when you pull a trigger the gun goes “pop” and you see smoke.
I think Pop Smoke is a Faustian archetype, a deal with the Devil. The clock struck midnight pretty quickly for this young man. I am writing this on December 31 as I am trying to close out the year. There’s about 12 hours left in my year and five hours of daylight. For what its worth I am wearing a new Roberto Clemente replica jersey t-shirt from Lids, a new Raiders cap white with the logo but no city designation — I’ll call it Oakland — a Polo plaid shirt over the black Pirates t-shirt; a wedding band, hand-pounded by an artist; some white Pumas with a yellow or gold swoosh that I admit I bought from Bloomingdales as click bait; a COVID-19 protective mask, gray or blue from Marine Layer which I sometimes call Marin Layer — I wear it as a scarf – -it ties twice; and some Stanford themed socks that are too short — like the rapper. Also I have new eyeglasses that are Lunar from Rod of Uni. Or as Martin Scorcese would say: see this tie? Fifty dollar!
I think this video was shot in New York, where he lived, and not LA where he died. A reviewer claimed that Black Lives Matter chanted “dior dior we up in all the stores” which at first offended me but then I agreed that property is a construct — maybe looters are political. You know what’s weird, when I was 12 my rabbi Sidney Askelrad suggested I quote Shakespeare for my Bar Mitzvah speech, good enough. But over the years I think of Polonious as a false fount of wisdom, full of cliches. So if he famously said “who steals my purse steals trash” then maybe that was already a cliche. In my sophomoric address I talked about the trouble with people “cutting on” each other or ourselves in junior high. Hey, cut it out guys with all the cutting! Not sure what my more mature update would be, both with a better read of Shakespeare and maybe more realistic about human nature. Aphorism is a pretty flawed source of wisdom and yes going circular not sure how any song lyric acts as a chant for protest, other than it builds camaraderie. Also I was kind of curious about how my friend and collaborator MC Lars — aka Andrew Nielson would handle a cover of “Dior” and he said he didn’t like the genre and that he could not say “nigger”. Besides the young woman denied admission to University of Tennessee for saying the word “n-word” that I read about in the Times — three years earlier — there was something else I quoted herein that used the word verbatim. I’m def down to go with “Black” not “black”. And I’ll probably go with “n-word” not “nigger”, I figure. Lars said he liked “gecci” or 100 gecs I guess but I don’t quite get it.
(In theory I am going to return here with 140 or so screen captchas, yo)
i cat this “new yorks” and “filty lucre” and tagged it “pop smoke” and “Black Lives Matter”
and1: I bought the Times yesterday partly because it had a P1 obit of Pierre Cardin
andand: not sure what is “mark amori’ or how to spell it