One of the coolest things about Drake’s “Successful” video
— which premiered late last month — was that it didn’t really feel like a [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] video. Sure, he (and Trey Songz) are featured prominently throughout, but the clip is dark and brooding, a stylized, noir-ish nightscape that (like the song itself) takes most of the celebratory tenets of R&B videos and made them look, well, decidedly less fun. In fact, “Successful” is seriously somber, to the point where it borders on dark, a rather bold and artsy move for a guy tipped by pretty much everyone to be the next big thing.
Not surprisingly, reactions were a bit mixed, with many critics loving the clip and many fans reacting with confusion. So, Drake has pulled a 180 with his follow-up video, the very big, very brash “Forever,” which — in addition to copious explosions and flashing lights — features cameos from NBA star LeBron James (the song is featured on the soundtrack to the James documentary “More Than a Game”) and a lot of rappers you might have heard of: Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem (who is joined by Slaughterhouse) — and Hype Williams directed it. Somber this one isn’t!
Now, the ramifications of having co-stars of this magnitude have already been debated, but suffice it to say, landing four of the hottest MCs in the world (and the reigning NBA MVP) for his video is a pretty good look for Drake, who at 22 has already accomplished something that takes even superstar MCs years to do: line up a legendary posse-cut, then deliver on the hype.
With a lineup like that, a performance clip is really the only way to go, and that’s what’s been done here: The real thrill is seeing Wayne, West, Em and Drake in the same music video! This is a blockbuster of the highest order, a big-budget, big-explosion event, and fans (especially those who weren’t fans of “Successful”) will lap it up.
Drake has done his art-house video, and now, with “Forever,” he’s gone IMAX. Get your popcorn!