Sunday, January 10, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne - "Down"

First off, there’s a lot of choreography in this video. I’m not saying it’s GOOD choreography, I’m just bringing up a point. In the crowd scenes that dominate several minutes of the video, there’s not a single person on screen who hasn’t been thoroughly grilled on exactly where to move, what to do when you get there, when to dance and how, and when to just stand there and look at the camera in a pouty but sexy manner.

Anyway, we start off with Jay in some fancy bathroom, shirtless and looking at his pecs in the mirror. There’s not much else going on so we don’t have any choice but to stare at his pecs as well. Apparently he’s very proud of them. Got it.

Then there’s a clap of thunder and some lightning, and Jay goes into the other room (is this a hotel?) where a sad woman is standing at the window and staring out at the rain. Maybe she misses the sun or is possibly regretting what looks like a bad lip job. Who knows.

Then there’s a close-up of somebody’s finger activating what looks like a blinged-out iPOD. It seems that this device has mystical powers, because not only does the music start, but this slightly-creepy blue light appears out of nowhere and leads us downstairs in what actually IS a hotel after all, or at least some big building with lots of rooms, doors and people pretending to be cocktail servers.

Now we’re in really big a room, crammed full of dressed-up party folks dancing and waving around glasses of champagne. They are really happy, and no one seems to be concerned about the weird blue light swirling through the crowd.

The camera weaves around a bit then zooms toward a set of doors leading into the room. A nearby dancing couple conveniently opens the doors for us and then they scamper away just as Jay bursts into the lyrics of the song while walking through the door.

Apparently this dramatic entrance really excites all the women in the room, and they can’t help but run by and touch various parts of his body as he marches along. One of them even brings him a nice dinner jacket to wear, which is a clear sign that she is horny.

And then the choreography kicks in. Jay starts snapping his fingers to the beat and instantly the lusty women assume a V-formation behind him and they all scoot a synchronized boot for a bit. And then suddenly the girls all disappear, and some dudes rush in to take their place in the V-formation, and they have been assigned even more complicated moves, with hand motions and such.

Oh really? What was that all about? Surely Jay doesn’t play for both teams. But it certainly got my interest when THAT bit happened. It’s a nice change to have men in music videos actually do something other than stand around and wait for the sweaty dancing women to worship them.

Then Jay wanders into another room that kind of looks like the first room, but darker. There’s another wave of women begging to have Jay’s baby, then the boys are back in another intricate line dance, and they dance for a really long time and do lots of fancy things. There was no way they did this shot in one take, especially if all that champagne was real.

Suddenly, we’re in a hallway bathed in blue light, and Jay is having an intimate moment with some woman, standing very close to each other and talking. (It might be sad Lip Girl from the hotel room, but it’s hard to tell, because it’s so dark. These people really don’t care for adequate lighting or the ability to identify cast members in a music video.) Then they either do an odd dance step or there was a small earthquake on the set, because they kind of stagger and then look concerned for their lives.

Then they’re done with whatever they were talking about (why are the boys getting more screen time?) and they head back to the party. Now THIS room is bathed in that blue light, and people continue to not care about the stupid light. The women also continue to touch Jay and his pecs, because he’s a star and they are nobodies with bad agents.

Whoa, what was that? In the background is some dorky-looking guy wearing a flannel shirt and a ball cap. What’s a redneck doing in this video? Really confused now.

And we’re back in the original dance room, with both the boys and the girls joining Jay in one big ole orgy of rhythm, and everybody has been assigned very important dance steps, which they carry out with great energy and precision. These people are quite pleased at the opportunity to thrust their pelvis and simulate orgasm.

Couple of cut shots with Jay slow-dancing with his girl, and she’s smiling now, so I guess the rain stopped.

Back to the massive line dance, and now everybody is doing hand motions because both hands are glowing like their fingers have been magically transformed into glow sticks. No explanation is given. Are these pod people of some kind? Are they communicating with the mother ship?

As they continue to dance and glow, we start getting glimpses of Lil Wayne in some place that has a really red wall. When the camera finally focuses on him for longer than a second, Lil breaks into his guest vocals. I’m sure he’s singing something important, but I don’t really catch it because I’m focused on wondering who in the hell told him the outfit he’s sporting is something you want people to see you in. It’s not.

As Lil rambles on, we get lots of jump shots of various people partying, Jay insisting on doing things with his hands and the weird blue light, more people drinking, and a few scenes with some guy that might be a pimp or a Mafia boss or a record producer, I don’t really know.

Now they both sing for a while, standing side-by-side and acting all street and bad-ass. (I guess Lil Wayne didn’t bring his own dancers, and Jay didn’t want him to feel bad about that, so it‘s just the two of them.) At one point, there’s a close-up of Lil squatting down for no apparent reason. Then he grins wickedly and sticks out his tongue in what I believe he thinks is a sexy manner. It’s not. Jay keeps singing and dancing, so it seems he’s fine with the tongue action.

We keep getting shots of this pimp boss producer guy, along with stills of some other guy with his arms raised in victory, so I’m assuming that they’re paying tribute to some people that I don’t know. I’m old. I don’t always know what these youngsters are doing. I’m not Lil Brian. Word.

Anyway, the song winds down, with shots of Jay once again slow-dancing with the big-lipped girl to clear up any confusion about his sexuality, shots of Lil Wayne confirming that he is perhaps not the most attractive man on the planet, shots of Jay and Lil performing hand gestures that they all street and stuff, and a final shot of the two clasping hands and doing that chest bump thing to prove they all tight.

But I still don’t know what the hell the blue light was all about…

Click here to watch the video on YouTube:

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