And for a few minutes, let’s all bask in four thirtysomethings showing those soulja boys and girls how it’s done.
Frankly, I’m tempted to just post a bunch of animated arrows pointing to the clip above and leave the writeup at “WATCH THAT!!” But though the “International Players Anthem” video was so best that it even managed a couple plays on cable TV, this miniature domestic dramedy is a straight-up bonus, part of a full audio-video package in an era when “MTV doesn’t even play videos anymore!” barely rates as a punchline, as well as a reprieve from the p-poppin’ parade of pole-dancers set to the iTunes hot ringtone chart. As for the soundtrack that outshines the film? True, you can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore the thrifty Three 6 Mafia re-recycled backing track; my sister echoed many this year when she said could barely hear past the luminiosity of that Willie Hutch sample to the four gents talking over (underneath?) it. But there’s also meter-flaunting Andre 3000 playing (with) the rhythmic angles–”lit-tra-chure” and “chi-ro-prac-tick” being points where he’s just showin off how far he can stray for the hell of it, infurating some and charming others–over a beat-less intro that’s barely a net, the boldest and funniest in his recent breadcrumb trail of guest verses, where “not a pimp” Dre still sheds a sly tear over all those moistened drawers of the past during the year’s sweetest pledge of fidelity to not only lovers and friends but extended family and the partner that we all suspected had strained under so much sideways break-up gossip. Outkast veneration aside, let us not forget that first-billing does truly belongs to two of the best to ever have their cell phone bills sent to addresses below the Mason-Dixon, with the final stretch of Bun B’s verse the year’s best “just try and follow along with the bouncing ball” moment. And when Andre suddenly cedes the spotlight to the rhythm track, it’s no R.I.P. revisionism to say that Pimp C’s chest-out entrance would distract from any drums. His like-it-rough-and-preferrably-strings-free definition of romance may not square with yours–personally, I lean closer to Andre’s kilts and corny email gags–but he sure as hell sells it, another part that you can’t imagine the hip-hop whole of the year working as well without.