Initial Thoughts: Although XXXTentacion and director JMP created a mind bending visual unlike anything on the internet right now, they forced a merge of two concepts that would have been better off standing on their own.
X has never been one to tip toe boundaries or shy away from controversy, he crosses lines and does what he wants despite what is said about him, but did he go to far with his debut video? It’s tough to say, mainly because I respect his creativity and the fact that he strayed away from the traditional rap trends, but I’m not sure if the video is living up to it’s hype. The first few minutes are fantastic, the opening scenes are hilarious, wild, and fun to watch. Witnessing a hardened rapper slap a high school teacher with a behemoth of a dildo that looked like it came from some twisted Smurfs porn parody was nothing short of hilarious. Weirdly enough, I was hoping to see how the rest of that story was going to unfold. Maybe X and his cohorts run around school stuffing teachers in lockers and we are introduced to a whole new slew of mythical creatures donning elaborate limbs made of sex toys? The possibilities for more 808 induced hilarity were endless. Instead, XXX chose to essentially have the second half of the visual be an entirely different cinematic experience, and while I respect that the contrasting ideas were executed well, the latter portion of the video just felt forced.
The back end of the video showcased dark, almost nightmarish portrayals of real life atrocities that have unfolded in America. These re-creations were shot in a way that was both scary, and beautiful. However, the child hanging scene in particular seemed a bit much, and while it was more than likely meant to represent a role reversal of the Emmett Till murder, it did little for the overall theme and impact of the video, aside from shock value, in comparison to the initial reenactments. With the video being divided in half, between two different songs, and two different concepts, it would have made more sense for X to release two entirely separate videos. Not only would each video have stood alone in it’s own unique light, but two off the wall videos, means two sets of off the wall views, and two streams of off the wall YouTube revenue.
XXXTentacion is clearly trying to position himself as more than a rapper. He is outspoken on social media across a variety of topics ranging from his open domestic violence case,(yikes..) to his takes on societal issues. There is nothing wrong with a person of prominence using his platform and art to get a message across, as long as the message does not compromise the art itself. In the case of the “Look At Me!” video, it seems XXX couldn’t decide between creating a wildly meme-able viral hit, or crafting a dark, yet powerful political statement. Either would have been exceptional on their own, but the two meshed together just leaves the viewer feeling uncomfortable.
Did X go to far? Watch the video yourself, and let us now what you think in the comment section below.