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Jack White - Lazaretto

The first thing I thought when I saw this the other night was, “Jack White made a hip hop video!”

Don’t get me wrong, this video still rocks very hard.  In fact, I love that he’s rocking so hard, the glass in the vicinity shatters when he picks up a guitar.  It’s such a great concept because not only does the effect make him look like a badass, it’s the perfect special effect with that “wow” factor that also happens to work thematically with the song.  They put him down in the Lazaretto, the glass walls are reminiscent of observation rooms, or maybe they merely suggest the feeling of being locked up and confined.  And because NOBODY TELLS JACK WHITE WHAT TO DO it all comes crashing down around him in such a artful way.

Most importantly, he just looks so cool throughout the whole thing.  The directors, Jonas & Francois have done a bunch of videos for Kanye West and Justin Timberlake, and their signature style really shines through.

The black and white video shot in against a white cyc is something we’ve seen in many a rap video, but we don’t often see this level of polish in rock.  No longer is Jack White that kid playing dirty garage punk, with music videos shot in standard definition (although life-changing music videos shot in SD).  Now he’s got Justin Timberlake level effects, sleek and bold lighting, expensive cars, smooth, gorgeous camera moves, and weird imagery of snakes, bulls, skulls, and fire just to shake things up.  I can’t help but think of Jay-Z.

Check out:

"On to the Next One" - Jay-Z  

"My Love"- Justin Timberlake

While “Lazaretto” references some signature hip hop tropes, it’s by no means a cheap imitation.  The directors completely created something new and cool by spinning this signature style to work within a rock context.  It is pretty sleek, but they are able to balance that with some raw and dirty shots that slip off the white background so you can see the film set behind.  At one point, he spits into the camera, breaking the 4th wall.  By the time Jack White is done melting your face/ shattering your souls with his guitar solo, you can always hit replay.

My sister is a badass! Check out her blog for more video reviews and overall cheeky pop culture commentary. 

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