Clipse feat. Pharrell and Kenna "Life Change" Music Video Review

1/09/2011 Posted by Admin

Clipse feat. Pharrell and Kenna "Life Change"

Music Video Review

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

How is it that it's taken this long for Clipse to make a music video in the style of "The Wire?" As the preeminent coke rap act, Clipse have been crafting drug war narratives since before that was a thing, their music a perfect marriage of gritty street-level confessionals and slick, minimalist beats that could function better than they should in a club setting thanks to the Neptunes' deft touch on the board.

But never mind the whys and wherefores, or the fact that this video is for an album that's been out for quite some time, "Life Change" is a surprisingly effective crime tale. Its success lies first and foremost in its realization as something that feels true rather than trite, sympathetic rather than exploitative. Following a low level runner who gets busted and sees the truth of his station while incarcerated, the clip is well-executed and earnest in a way nothing by 50 Cent ever could be.

Clipse have always had a knack for making their contraband bonafides feel like scars instead of badges and the characters in "Life Change" sound suitably remorseful, genuinely brought to their knees by the awareness that they've squandered life. While Pharrell could be ditched from the track without anybody noticing, Kenna shines on the hook, sounding full of gravitas in a way he almost never does and the juxtaposition of his stylish image with the devastating lows of the characters in the video seems deliberate and carefully constructed.

Pundits like to make the argument that hip-hop is all bitches, guns and drugs but if that's what you see when you watch Clipse you're missing the point. The group hasn't ever shied away from their origins and like Ghostface Killah and his Wu compatriots some fans do admittedly take the wrong message from what they see but you can't fault an artist for the lack of intelligence some fans may suffer. After all, you can't have redemption without something to rise up from.

View the video below. What are your thoughts?

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