2 Chainz probably never meant “Feds Watching” to be prophetic, but given everything that’s come out over the past month about the National Security Agency, well, it turns out the Feds have been watching … or at least listening.
But rather than be dismayed by that, Chainz has decided to celebrate the fact that he’s inadvertently written the anthem of these paranoid times … by renting out Jackie Treehorn’s house, pulling on a brand-new pair of snakeskin pants, and surrounding himself with a bevy of beauties. Oh, and he’s letting Pharrell crash on the couch. Hey, it sure beats writing your Congressman.
Yes, much like the song itself, the “Feds Watching” video is a big, bold, bodacious thing, essentially a non-stop ode to excess. Why get one model when you can have 10? Why shoot at a mansion when the space-aged bachelor pad in the hills is available? There are, of course, some subtle jabs at said Feds, like when a bad-ass female smashes a camera, places a single stiletto atop a patrolmen’s helmet and defiantly stares down a hovering helicopter, but mostly, this is a video about living the good life, and not caring who notices. In fact, the more folks paying attention, the better.
It’s a cool, confident clip, and while those are a dime a dozen these days, what separates it — and, really, 2 Chainz himself — from the rest of the field is that the “Feds Watching” video is also quite clever. All of these excesses are presented with a sly wink, as if Chainz, Pharrell and everyone else is in on the joke; they’ve created a world so opulent and obscene that even they know it can’t be real. The same can be said about 2 Chainz’s earlier “Birthday Song” video, and when the two are paired, you could make the argument that he’s currently making some of the best videos in hip-hop: surreal, silly, and always sharp. Or, at the very least, you know he has a blast while he’s shooting them.
Hey, if the Feds really are watching, you should at least put on a show. 2 Chainz doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about his privacy … after all, why would he want to keep any of this to himself?