Sunday, November 7, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Willow Smith - “Whip My Hair”

Editor’s Note: Yep, Willow is the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. She’s nine years old, people. Nine! And here we go…

We start off in a sterile school cafeteria, where everything is black and white and the kiddies have very boring hairstyles. Everyone looks really sad, because their non-colorful lives are so empty and meaningless. Well, we can’t have that. So here comes Willow, dragging a boom box that is basically bigger than she is, and sporting a hairdo in the shape of a heart.

The school kids watch her set up shop at one end of the room, curious about what Willow is going to do, because anything is more exciting than eating broccoli. Willow calmly dips the ends of her braids into paint cans, pushes play on the box, and, as the music begins, she starts wind-milling her head around like she’s taxiing down a runway.

Next thing you know, paint is flying all over the room, magically adding color to the furniture and students. Instead of screaming and running from the room like most people would do, (paint is wet, and who knows where that mess has been), the students all light up with joy, their lives having been transformed by the kid with the whirlybird head.

After dousing everybody with gallons of goo, Willow breaks into her song, and she’s got more swagger than people three times her age can only dream about. (And there are clearly no restrictions on sugar-intake in her house.) The kids are so inspired that they start ripping off their white coveralls, exposing hip little outfits bursting with color. Who knew that unzipping could be so much fun?

Now we have folks jumping on the tables and doing interpretive dances. Since the room isn’t big enough to contain all this youthful energy, we cut to Willow and some select classmates dancing in another room. I guess they’ve been practicing, because they all know the same dance moves, which has something to do with brushing ants off their bodies.

We also get lots of close shots of Willow’s lips, and she has some jewelry on the upper one. I don’t know if that’s a piercing (surely not, the pain alone would stunt your growth) or if it’s just an appliqué, but if Willow can sing and dance without that thing getting in her way, she really is beyond talented. Her hairdo in this scene isn’t really good for whipping around, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

Quick scene with everybody in the cafeteria doing synchronized head-banger moves, like they took the audience at a Kiss concert and threw everybody into the dryer, shrinking them all down. (The guys are trying to whip their hair along with the girls, but let’s face it, it doesn’t look nearly as cute and exciting. Girls are just better at certain things. Word.)

Cut to a sterile school hallway, where we have some more folks wearing the boring white coveralls and lethargically getting books out of their lockers so they can go to yet another useless class and continue not being satisfied. Here comes Willow, apparently having just survived a run-in with a cotton-candy machine. She struts her way down the hallway, and the life-transforming paint goes flying again. Everybody really loves their new, colorful outfits, so they start dancing in frenzied tribute to the liquid couture squirting from Willow.

Willow jams in this hallway for quite a while, giving us time to cut back and forth to other scenes, most of them featuring Willow and her “can’t look away from it” upper lip, including some business where Willow is all alone in a totally white room, whipping, with paint splattering everything like somebody lost control of a paint-ball machine gun. Oh, and the special classmates are still dancing in that other room, their actions getting a little more frantic, probably because they can’t find the door and need to tinkle.

Our next big set is a classroom, one that is already mostly painted so Willow does not have to fire up her hair jets. But she still wants to dance, and she does so while the rest of the class throws paperwads all over the place as accompaniment. (The teacher is nowhere in sight. Would you be? She’s probably in the janitor’s closet, drinking.)

We go into a long montage, catching up on what everybody has been doing in all the rooms, and most of the folks are now doing an intricate handclap/body slap routine that coincides with the current rhythm of the song. And there’s still some whipping. Always with the whipping. Sprinkled in with all of this are some cameos by adults, but I’m not quite sure who they are, maybe family members or people from Child Protective Services checking up on things. Whoever they are, they also like to whip it real good.

(There’s also a tiny toddler, who I believe has been instructed by her agent to shimmy with the other folks in the dance line, but she seems more interested in just sitting down and waiting to be fed.)

And that’s about it as the video finishes up. Dancing, whipping and the constantly-flying paint, with lots of people getting solos to perform personal moves, but none of them can really compare with the dynamic Miss Willow. After all, she’s the only one with an apparent open line of credit at Sherwin-Williams. (But I will have to say the runner-up star of this show is the woman who does a few cameos in the classroom, wearing skin-tight red pants and doing interpretations of farm animals gone insane and the Great Hurricane of 1935. I bet she stopped at Starbuck’s on the way in.)

The song ends with a close-up of Willow, grinning from ear to ear. She’s clearly ready to make another video and these people need to snap to it. Don’t make her turn that hair back on….


Click Here to Watch This Video on YouTube.

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