We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
I’ll let others decide whether Eddie Murphy‘s “Party All The Time” is Advanced. (“It’s a hit song by a comedian who actually sings better when he’s imitating other people, blar-dee-blar-blar, blabba blabba.”)
I will note, however, that the song’s video is fantastic, but not because of the clothing, the hair, the lighting, the portly white guy with his sleeves pushed up, our own retro-actively ascribed meta-narratives about Murphy’s career, or even the shot at about 2:49 where Rick James looks like he’s either cupping a scrotum or elevating an imaginary heart during a ritual sacrifice. Nor is the video awesome because of what we now know about the relationship between James and Murphy brothers.
No, the video is singular because everybody in it — except maybe for James himself and the hair-metal dude on guitar — is TOTALLY AFRAID to be in the room with Eddie Murphy. You can see it: Oh shit, Rick is so high he actualy LIKES these vocals. Murphy’s own trepidation is obvious, yet different: These dudes would be too scared to tell me if I had a booger on my face. He’s lonely.
Nowadays, the extras in hip-hop and R&B videos act like they’re totally supposed to be there, even if they just happened to stumble upon the shoot. (I suppose people in R. Kelly videos are fearful in one way or another, but it’s also possible that they are also motivated by a strangely elegant form of pity.)