Song: Super Bass
Artist: Nicki Minaj
Year of release: 2011
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Genre: R&B, hip hop, pop
Characteristics: Barbie, pink, fake, plastic, doll inspired costumes, shirtless men, UV lighting.
Relationship between lyrics and visuals: the songs lyrics tells a story by Nicki about a boy she has a crush on, and wants to be intimate with him, but instead takes on a playful approach. E.g. dressing up as plastic dolls and living the ‘Barbie lifestyle’. Nicki songs about a boy she has a crush whilst being surrounded by half naked men in a pink-watered pool. The music video focuses on the female gaze as well as the male gaze as it includes revealing outfits from both the male and female dancers.
Relationship between music and visuals: the song begins with a high pitched automated introduction, almost like something you would hear out of a child’s TV programme theme song. The sound of childlike music is compared to the close up of Nicki with her pink and blonde hair, long fake eyelashes, bright pink lips and tight pink clothing. Nicki is dressed as Barbie, and the music video attempts to copy Barbie’s lifestyle which includes a bright pink plastic car and plane and also lots of men who also appear to look like plastic Ken dolls. The childish music continues throughout the song, mixed with a low bass to create the ‘Super bass’ idea to the song.
Close ups: the music video contains many close up and extreme close ups of Nicki and her male dancers. For Nicki the close ups mainly focus on her facial features, which show her Barbie-like and fake appearance. As for the male dancers the close ups are focused on their unnaturally toned body’s and immaculate appearances. This is a focus for the female gaze theory.
Controversy: recently over the last couple of years the fashion and modelling industry has been notorious for trying to make beautiful black women look white Caucasian. They do this by lighting women’s skin, dying hair blonde and giving black women blue contact lenses to wear. The whole idea was seen as unnatural and caused anger in the black community as the idea of trying to change a women’s race made them seem inferior. Nicki is dressed up as a Barbie doll in her music video Super Bass and her make-up has changed her appearance completely in the video, including lighting her skin in post production. The idea of changing a women’s eye colour, hair colour and skin colour to look Caucasian seems hugely controversial and betraying her own culture and identity.
Performance based: the music video is mainly performance as it involves Nicki running around her own Barbie world which includes pink rocks, water, walls, outfits, cars and planes. The video also contains Nicki dancing with the male version doll of herself and the lyrics focus on her relationship with him.
Youtube hits: 200 million!