By: Zackary Kephart
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – 2018 has featured some unusual music videos. While some, like Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” addressed deep-rooted conflicts in the United States, others such as the collaboration by Kanye West and Lil Pump titled “I Love It” have been well … harder to decipher.
After a full month, it’s still hard to tell exactly what West had in mind with a music video where he and Lil Pump dress in blocky outfits and follow comedian Adele Givens around. The song itself really doesn’t come to life without the video – another trend in 2018. Still, West’s fingerprints are all over this. He’s trolling all of us. The question is whether or not it’s intentional, and that’s something even West himself may not be able to answer.
“I Love It” also harkens back to the late ’90s and early 2000s when artists such as Ludacris featured well … ludicrous videos for songs such as his own, “Get Back.” The central theme of that video was intimidation and aggressive posturing wrapped in a light-hearted, humorous frame.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement this year, it would be nice to watch “I Love It” and view it as the opposite of that aforementioned video. West and Lil Pump spit out some disgusting bars, sure, but they’re not in control. They’re walking around in ridiculous, blocky suits trying to intimidate the much larger Givens (who is literally twice their size in the video) and getting nowhere. They’re answering to Givens, not the other way around. They don’t get it.
Even West’s decision to wear a chain bearing the name of his late mother around his neck could be a nice gesture toward treating women equally, yet it’s hard to tell with him. West admitted in an interview that having daughters hasn’t changed his views on women, and considering this song was first presented at a certain awards show, this analysis just feels wasted. Again, it would be nice to watch this video and think otherwise, but there’s a difference between what it would be nice to do and what can actually be done.
West may look like Spongebob Squarepants in “I Love It,” but it’s hard to tell if he’s ready for anything.