the ghost robot -

Wednesday, November 08, 2006
  we ain't going nowhere

although overshadowed by jay-z's video for 'big pimpin' in the summer of 2000, puff's "we ain't going nowhere" is filled with all sorts of pop culture ephemera and meaning. Watch two cultures sniff each other's tails.


-conspicuous product placement
puff's clothing brand 'sean john' is prominently featured, as are gold bottles of cristal and converse high tops.

-the halycon dayz of rap-metal
travis barker of blink 182, and dave narravo of jane's addiciton appear as puff's garage rock comrades. they are talentless, but they scream "recognizable rock dude." rock dudes and puff agree: grow your audience, spread the brand. at the end of the video, diddy himself dreads the arrival of CRAZYTOWN, as if the makers of 'butterfly' might out-do the excesses of puff himself.

-"don't worry if I write rhymes/ i write checks"
diddy respnds to rumors that his material is ghost-written. making money is more important than making art, and pop music is not about authenticity. his on-screen signature is a nod to a line of american express advertisements.

-east-west truce
after the truncated debacle of the1999 nba season, the lakers have returned to their late 80s glory and cinched the title. los angeles basks in national glory. shaq popularizes the phrase 'bling bling.' puff and the big fella take on the neighborhood kids and invent an new zombie dance. also, pay attention the cameos from ice cube, xzhibit, snoop dogg, sporting their purple and gold laker finery (including low riders sitting on hundred spoke rims, an l.a. classic). inviting west coast rappers to appear in the video demonstrates that the east-west rivalry that claimed the lives of biggie and pac is mercifully behind us.

-Sports commentator, host of access hollywood, and recent indecent voicemail scandal survivor Pat O'Brien as the 'awkward white guy.'

-recognizing/popularizing trends
puff trumps the razor scooter trend by riding around on a gas-powered model. these will be followed by 400 mini motorcycles in the summer of 2004. also: throwback basketball jerseys from mitchell and ness. headbands! wristbands! even better: both!

- "we ain't going nowhere" subtext
bad boy records will survive after the death of biggie, the only talented member of our roster. except for the lox, but those dudes left for ruff-rider. lil' kim is too crazy to count.

-proof that they did, in fact, go somewhere
nobody knows/remembers black rob or mark curry.

-puff's man-servant fonzworth bently, now a purveyor of boutique umbrellas and pop culture commentary on vh1.

-diddy's terrible golf swing. the ceo of bad boy records completely slices it. hard. flash-forward to twenty oh six, where two separate interviews with T.I. talks mention his improving golf game as a means to make more contacts with more *cough* traditional businessmen.

-ben stiller at the height of his career. meet the parents grosses 160 million that summer. zoo lander is still ahead of him. this is the stiller sweet spot.

-suburban apporpriation of hip-hop culture
although he parodies sean comb's ever expanding collection of nickmanes, ben stiller uses the unfamiliar construction, "shout me a holler, dun." coming from the queensbridge neighborhood of nyc and most conspicuously used by mobb deep, "dun" never caught on nationally, but it means that derik zoolander might be more familiar with "that whole [rap arm gesture] thing" than he lets on.

-hip-hop appropriation of white culture
motorcycles! harleys! guitars! evel kanieval! dude, we're, like, in the suburbs! we totally rock! but we're not poor. don't ever forget it.

-the work of director chris robinson, who went on to direct both ATL and Soul Plane for the silver screen. is he the most important music video director in hip-hop since hype williams? wait, didn't ice cube direct a video for color me bad?

sh*t is hot. ask the old dude at the beginning of the video. nah. ask ghostface.
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