Music is a potent vehicle for expression and portrayal. Combine music with video and you get a powerful tool for conveying an idea too great for words. One brilliant example which I featured not too long ago was Childish Gambino with the provocative “This is America” music video.
Now, we have a new music video from R&B/hip-hop royalty Beyoncé titled “Apes**t”. From a creative direction perspective, there can’t possibly be anything cooler than shooting a R&B music video in The Louvre, surrounded by the numerous great classical work of art and featuring an obscured Mona Lisa. It would’ve been difficult to imagine this happening in the 90s when hip-hop was normally associated with gun, sex, drugs and violence. It is liberating to see how old narratives are being challenged and changed (see also the new marriage of high fashion and street wear). People are really interesting this way.
Behind the beautifully shot video is a message and exhibition on gender equality. This article from The Atlantic gives a good explanation of the meaning of this song and the images portrayed in the video. From the article:
In “Apeshit,” which is set in Paris’s Louvre Museum and rife with centuries-old images of conquest, the Carters present themselves as a modern kind of royal family—one that’s not helmed by a patriarch, but by two equal partners. The other men and women who populate the video also embrace a more mutualistic and fluid approach to gender and power. Men are shown as graceful and valiant, women as both matronly and aggressive—though it is the latter who are depicted in “Apeshit” as the backbone of the Carters’ world.
The world is changing, in many ways. These are interesting times.