The last time I watched a Chris Brown music video must have been from his 2005 hit ‘Run it’. So, you can understand that I could barely recognize his new look as the tattoo-laden, Kris-Kross reminiscent, plated-hairstyle wearing (which is kinda cool because I’m a 90’s gal) R&B crooner. Had it not been for the host of the BET After Show, Tigger, introducing Future and Chris Brown, I wouldn’t have recognized him at all. By the process of elimination, I determined the mahogany brother with the chiseled high cheek bones and modelesque facial features must be the one referred to as Future, since I’d never seen him before.
The music video “Pie” debuted after the BET Awards on Sunday, June 25th, 2017. As someone who oscillates between Oldies Rock and early 2000’s contemporary black gospel music, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on the hip-hop/R&B/ Rap scene but for some reason after watching the ceremoniously celebrated achievements of people of color, I was interested to see how much things had changed in the visual production and story-telling aspect of this particular genre of music.
Wide-eyed, I sat captivated at the opening scene. A telephone rings (awwww yeah! I remember this from the 90’s! Recorded phone conversations were the prologue to a more involved and intriguing music video experience.) The opening dialogue started with Chris Brown announcing, “I’ve got some ‘side pieces’ coming through”. Followed by a line about turning a’ side-piece into a 9 piece’, which sounds like an awesome chicken dinner combo. I’m still trying to figure out where the “Pie” comes into play. Future glides across the screen, a puff of cigarette smoke billows towards the camera. Iconic gold chains, indoor sunglasses, animal-print, camouflage jackets, and sly prayer hands rubbing mischievously set the scene as the storyline unfolds over auto-tuned vocals. Enter one by one, the “side pieces” according CB’s description. Each beautiful and scantily clad with skin-tight clothing or plunging necklines exposing inner boob. Skin no darker than the color of a buttered biscuit. None of the women had dark skin. None were identified or recognizably Black based on skin color alone but maybe being excluded from “side piece” level infatuation isn’t an insult? Is it something to aspire to these days? The message has always been clear in rap videos; dark-skinned women are not considered attractive blah blah blah…we get it. So, in conclusion, nothing new here. This video was not innovative but the consumers love it! Check out the comments on YouTube. Rave reviews! Chris Brown and Future are simply giving the consumers what they want.