Pop Cult: Pras, Marilyn Manson, Lana Del Rey
Knee-jerk reactions (the best kind) to pop culture happenings all over the world.Posted by Allen Huang
A very special, very presidential Pop Cult
Pras ft. Ol Dirty Bastard and Mya – Ghetto Superstar : C+
This one did not age well. I still don’t know if “Bulworth” was a good movie or not, but I do remember seeing this video everywhere. The vision of Pras ripping off Warren Beatty’s skin to reveal his blackness really formed an imprint on my mind as a kid. What is Pras up to now? Saw him on an episode of “Cribs” where he was really into collecting art. After tax evasion and a failed Haiti presidential campaign, it seems that he was the level-headed one all along.
Anyways, both his and ODB’s verses are absolute nonsense, a bunch of double entendres that have more to do with the movie’s content than anything in real life (see the above comment about “Bulworth”). Rest in Peace Ason Jones, but this definitely was not your finest hour. Plus points for introducing me to “Islands In the Stream.”
Marilyn Manson – Coma White : A-
I loved Mechanical Animals. LOOOOOOOVED it. Still think it’s one of the best rock records of the TRL age. Still holds up, way better than Antichrist Superstar does. “Coma White” is one of the best songs on the album.
The video was a direct response to the Columbine massacre, a supposed message to the media about their unquenchable thirst for violence and sensationalism. The message may be a bit roundabout, but the imagery remains striking. The slow motion shot of the limo driving past still gives me a little chill.
Lana Del Rey – National Anthem : D
And finally, Lana. Lana gets A$AP to be the Kennedy to her Jackie, which is fitting because I can’t really stand that dude either. Then they run a video which, instead of inhabiting that space that JFK’s assassination has in our cultural context, puts it on as theater just for Lana to wear some kewt dresses and do some awful facial acting.
I mean there is the whole interracial relations aspect of this, using a pivotal celebrity pairing to emphasize the complex duality between its relative normalcy and its shock value. But rather than using the extra 4 minutes tacked on to the video to actually play in this mindspace, the director chooses to practice using instagram filters and dressing up Lana like a Barbie doll yet again. Opportunity wasted on all levels.
Also, in general her rapping and especially the way she says “…of success!” at the end of the song makes me want to claw my eardrums out.