Travis Scott’s ‘Goosebumps’, Directed by BRTHR
“Follow La Flame into his underworld of drugs, clubs and strippers in this offbeat epic”
Originality – 3.5
Entertainment Value – 4
Cleverness – 4
The first thing that ‘erked’ us was how similar this video was to The Weeknd’s ‘Party Monster’, although it was the same director (we congratulate the consistency), we had to drop some ‘Originality’ points. That being said, not only does this video borrow the concepts of that one with the quick tempo (cuts), aggressive (neon) color flashing and sound effects which are independent from the primary audio source, it expands on it whilst maintaining relevance to the actions. This adds a new dimension of awareness and consciousness to the music video similar to the effects used in mash-up videos and hence we’d coin this aspect of visual and sonic realization as ‘Hyperaction’. (This feature is heavily used in our ‘Hyper’ themed films). Kendrick Lamar used similar sound effects in some of his songs off ‘DAMN.’ in songs such as ‘XXX’ (the car screeches and phone drops etc.) although there aren’t videos (as of yet) for those songs. The sound effects being independent of songs is a great concepts and should be adopted by other directors in order to give the audience a better and closer experience to the music videos. (It kind of breaks a wall)
The shot within a shot during Kendrick Lamar’s verse is another (new?) original concept that was played with and it did look cool and brand new.
The font of the title is very similar to what you would expect from an R. L. Stine Goosebumps book (classic) and BRTHR have indeed used this font style and similar ones for other videos they’ve made. This font style and the allusion to the horror books also suits the theme of the music video, especially with the neon lights littered all through the moving pictures.
The ‘Play’ shot at the start accompanied by the static TV screen and the (DV Camcorder?) VCR-esque quality used for snippets was amazing and was not only a tribute to early 2000 films (or an industry we’ll rather leave unnamed. Hint: most of the VCR type shots were of the female pole dancing zombies) but could also be hinting at a possible future comeback of this type of film in the indies.
There are early references to time passing by and death using clocks and skeletons in the video. Sharp color mixes allude to whatever drugs kids shouldn’t try (although we don’t condone the consumption of said drugs for adults either).
La Flame emerging from flames (pun intended.) insinuates he’s been through hell to get here (and if you’ve been a fan since ‘Owl Pharaoh’, you know he has) and that is reinforced by his screaming. Fire is also a symbol of transformation and ‘lifting out of limitation (or could imply he’s a phoenix – this is plausible as he uses bird symbols on the regular).
Snakes symbolize self-transformation so a snake coming out of his eye indicates his envisioning of himself being the king of rap (more on that later) since he was going through hell (or grinding – in all three ways).
The masks of his crew are the same as those used for the Persians in the not so critically-acclaimed but beloved 300 film (starring Gerad Butler) and if his team are Persians, he’s not only a king (again, more on this later) but a Demi-God. This is made clearer by the fact we see him falling from the sky descending to earth earlier in the video.
Another cool and clever aspect of the film is Kendrick Lamar (Cornrow Kenny) rapping to him from hell (with the carefully placed sword behind him flipped over to maintain a reverse symbol look). The burning buildings and world in flames were visuals of his prophecies in Untitled 01.
There is also the use of the sublime mixing beauty with horror i.e. gorgeous women with blood, this evokes strong curiosity from the audience and is a typical element of pretty much any horror film (‘cos you gotta make it look sexy).
In one of the last shots, we see Travis assume a Game of Throne’s looking King’s seat before flapping his phoenix wings and hopping off it. New Rap King?
The transitions between clips are smooth and the (neon) color variations are great and mix well. The fonts are fun and the glamorous sugar-coating of the underlying darkness the video depicts is a job that’s well-done. The fast cuts are on point with the beat, the sound effects and cuts are nice and the consistent cool horror atmosphere is great. The entertainment value here is on point.
The video is of female zombies, partying with skeletons and DRUGS. All of these allude to death and in the video, Travis acts as if he sees through all of this from a more aware standpoint or view, critiquing it. The meaning is that his lifestyle is killing him but he can’t live without it, he NEEDS that high.
Too similar to ‘Party Monster’