29 Jul

I’ll just let Thomas Traum describe this work, aptly titled Boats*Cars*Dollars*Girls*Helicopters*Jewellery*Skylines: “[This is] a typology of rap videos and an attempt to construct the most generic Rap and R&B video out of many. Musical genres are always heavily codified and rap seems to be one of the most extreme ones, each video has similar if not identical subjects, the same light, the same cars, the same girls, the same dance moves etc. Through their likeness they seem to be almost ‘classic’, just as classic theater or opera.” Not that all musical genres don’t have their uniforms and well worn cliches, it’s just that Rap videos seem to stick much tighter to their limited pool of tropes; the lack of deviation is startling. As it is “classic” in likeness, Traum broke the piece up into 5 “Acts”, and a set the video to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor — think of it as sort of a musical tether to keep you from getting swallowed up in the sea of enormous diamond pendants, well endowed video girls, Maybachs and general tides of bling. How thoughtful…

Boats*Cars*Dollars*Girls*Helicopters*Jewellery*Skylines from Thomas Traum on Vimeo.

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