Hitmaker DJ Khaled returns as the master of ceremonies — and of disaster — in the chaotic new video for new single “Take It To The Head”, shot amid the rushing flood waters and flashing flames of the Earthquake-inspired amusement park ride at Universal Studios Orlando. But when Khaled’s all-star lineup — Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne — all pile onto the same track, is it a sure-fire hit or a catastrophe in the making? What’s clear is, with all the cataclysmic action around him, it’s easier than ever for the Miami DJ to remain in the background and simply nod along to the beat.
The video reminds us that Khaled is a bit like the Michael Bay of hip-hop — his productions tend to be bloated and formulaic, but they somehow tend to work. The Colin Tilley-directed visual, which also includes cameos from Drake, Busta Rhymes and Birdman, is Khaled’s first real stab at following up his #1 smash “I’m On One”.
While it’s still a fairly standard Khaled-plus-everyone clip, a few images stand out. One is the placement of Chris Brown (among all the other stars on set) in a fenced-in area ringed with wire — it’s almost as if people think he’s dangerous… And another is that of a bewigged Nicki Minaj, wearing a green tutu, spitting a profane verse that recalls the Nicki we knew before she became the candy-coated pop star of “Super Bass”. Indeed, hearing the Harajuku Barbie conjure such racy imagery is at least as jarring as the subway car that crashes halfway through the clip.
If Khaled was looking for a blockbuster-level video that might “win awards”, as he told MTV, then he picked an appropriate backdrop. But a disaster zone does sometimes seem like an odd fit for such a smooth, head-nodding track.