Last week, SZA dropped a video for “The Weekend” (see below at your own risk of boredom), one of the standout tracks from her standout album, CTRL. This video is basura. It’s four straight minutes of bad art. I call it bad art because the Solange Knowles-helmed video was clearly created to be artsy and not fun but I guess appreciated?
I know it’s slightly blasphemous to say anything negative about Solange, but girl, stop. For a song that LITERALLY lends itself to a storyline video that could have been a great internet moment (for the right reasons), this shit is a total dud. It’s boring. It’s uninspired. It’s basically “Cranes in the Sky” except without the feeling of “Oh shit, we got a Solange video for the best song on her album that totally surprised us all, so let’s just look at Solange be awesome for a video.” Solange absolutely could not drop that same video again to the same response.
But she tried anyway, except it’s not nearly as interesting AND used a song tons of folks were talking about, and now I’m annoyed because, I mean, shit, we should have gotten one of those epic ’90s videos that was basically a short movie turned into a music video, not this artsy four-minute video of a rhythmically challenged SZA doing that thing we all do in the mirror before middle school dances when we realize other people are going to find out we can’t dance if we don’t spend at least seven minutes “practicing.”
I feel shortchanged all over again. Where’s Ray J and the money gun when you need him? I realize this is more about me than her. She could have been totally happy with it, and I assume she was happy enough to release it. But I feel cheated. It’s like folks who live out their relationships online, then break up and don’t tell you why. “Nigga, this is OUR relationship. #DeetsGirl”
Luckily for SZA, she’s not the first artist to waste our time with a video that SHOULD have been better. Lots of artists have universally annoyed us with their “Bish whet? For why?” videos. Here are five more videos that really should have been better than they are.
1. “Power” by Kanye West
Kanye’s entire My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album video roll could fit here, but “Power” was the lead single with that fading-out bullshit. Kanye is what happens when you’re supremely talented, overly self-indulgent, and nobody has the heart to tell you that you should sit your ass down somewhere and reshoot a video that could be SUPER anthemic. This was especially bad because I literally watched the whole video waiting for the real shit to start. Well played, Kanye.
2. “Best I Ever Had” by Drake
Le sigh. Kanye again. This video had so much promise and ended up being so not promiseful. The terrible basketball-coach setup when it should have been—you know what? Fuck it. It was just a dumbass wasted video.
3. “Bound 2” by Kanye West
I really could do a whole list using only videos conceived by Kanye West. He makes it so easy. This nigga had horses. Why? I miss the old Kanye, the “Touch the Sky” Kanye. THAT video was epic.
4. “The Way You Love Me” by Keri Hilson, featuring Rick Ross
This video came out a long time ago, but all I remember is folks being like, “Keri, YOU IN DANGER, GIRL!” Keri was still trying to get her footing as an R&B singer and had dropped “Pretty Girl Rock,” but this video was just, naw, boo. Just stop. She was trying too hard to be sexy, and it fell flat in so many ways. In the video she says, “This ain’t no ‘Pretty Girl Rock.’” You right, boo; you right. Totally should have and could have reshot it and made it less bad.
5. “Kissing You” by Total
“Kissing You” would not be on this list—I love this song—if they’d just done a performance video of them doing that thing where they try to string notes together in harmony. But alas, this is a video that also includes a dude dead in a pool who gets out the pool and ends up in the ocean and the ’30s and then back in the ocean and then out the pool while detectives try to figure out how he got there. It was confusing in 1996, and I just watched it again and I still don’t get it. Maybe you do. Maybe you are also a lie, Craig.