on to the next one: evil/artistic?

I would make this a friPod post, but there’s a lot going on here with this video that I wasn’t aware of, and I wanted to showcase it in it’s own post. Honestly, I wasn’t aware there was even a video for this song until last Saturday evening.

Long story short, today I’m presenting one of Jay-Z’s newest music videos “On To The Next One.” If you haven’t seen the video, scroll down. I warn you now, not for the kiddies due to language and maybe even some of the imagery. Quite possibly my first NSFW? I don’t think it’s that extreme. My entire blog can’t be viewed at my job anyway so it doesn’t really matter. All I’m saying is, if you are offended by course language, this isn’t for you. If you are offended by possibly (allegedly) satanic images, this isn’t for you either.

I liked this song way before the video came out. Once I saw the video for myself  for the first time after reading a two sentence review that was saying how artistically intriguing it is (A bizarre and haunting series of black-and-white images surrounds … The striking imagery—is that a sneaker bleeding milk?—will completely transfix you. –Entertainment Weekly, #1086). Indeed, it certainly was. I was waiting for the bleeding sneaker.

The protesters of the video claim Jay-Z is dabbling in the occult and the proof is in the video, as well as a few songs through lyrics. They point out various images such as the crucifix between two bullets or the ram’s skull which could represent a symbol of Satan. Surely their arguments are plausible and valid. A lot of artists leave it up to the viewer to interpret their work to make up their own minds. Salvador Dali, anyone? (Like this video, he is a famous surreal artist and painter.)

I mean, I heard rumors about Jay-Z before thinking he was bigger or better than God, hence the nickname “Hova” and all… But whether that’s true or not, no one can definitely say, except for him, or maybe Beyonce. Further critics say he is also a Mason, as in Free Mason, as in the secret society that possibly still controls our government and maybe the world. Or the Illuminati. I guess one of their symbols is the way they show the number three, with the three lines? Okay. Granted, the Free Masons and Illuminati are known for hiding symbols and themes all over the place. But Jay-Z? Critics feel it’s not a coincidence that Jay-Z chose this three lined image for the symbol for his album.

While the evidence does mount up to leave you to draw your own conclusions, the source says otherwise. Long story short, no one is involved in anything dark or mysterious with the making of this video. Conspiracy theorists probably wouldn’t be surprised by their answer, but the way some theorists are, there is no convincing them the Earth is round even if you take them in a space shuttle. (Apparently, there are still some people who believe Earth is flat.)

What the stank?

Where do I stand? I’ll agree that some of these images are disturbing and creepy. And yeah, I thought some images were borderline satanic. It’s definitely not the most cheerful or colorful video he’s made. I probably wouldn’t put such images in my music video, but then again, I think they were going for a creative visual look. Also, many of the images, creepy or not, directly relate to the lyrics. Visual word play anyone? Anyone who has heard this song prior to the video, did you think of images like this before hand? Just curious. I like a video that surprises my expectations.

And sometimes you need to strike your audience with something controversial. Religion and secret societies has always been somewhat eyebrow-raising when brought to center stage.

I personally don’t believe there are dark forces at work behind this video. But you know how people can be: they will believe whatever they want and analyze it to death to prove their point. Again, I see where they are coming from. But I see this as artistic and creative. You see the same thing is movies that prominently feature the devil or his minions antagonizing characters and no religious groups or critics are complaining about that. I say it’s all the sake of entertainment. Something new and different. I also think it’s one of the few times something like this is featured in a hip hop video, versus rock or metal. I could be wrong.

If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Everything is not for everybody. So with that, on to the next one…

Tagged with: ,
Posted in music, music video, video
3 comments on “on to the next one: evil/artistic?
  1. Jay-Z — the man’s a poet, period. And I give him full credit for getting me into hip hop dance (Can I Get A…). I too have heard rumors that he’s a Freemason, and as far as I’m concerned, that would be a good thing. Masons are philanthropists doing good work around the world. The only thing I don’t like about them is that they’re sexists (I would actually join if I could but the ladies aren’t allowed — BAH!).

    I don’t see how the images in the video are satanic at all. They’re symbols, yes (the cross and skulls) but what do they mean? I think that some extreme religious people and conspiracy theorists get carried away and make much ado about nothing. In fact, they often take harmless symbols and make them satanic simply by declaring “that’s satanic.” I always want to tell them that there are people suffering in the world and committing great evil. So go put your energies there instead of criticizing art that is primarily meant to entertain and make money.

    Jay-Z performed in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon with Rihanna and members of U2. It’s on iTunes and worth listening to. You can also watch the video at mtv.com. I bet you’d like it 🙂

    • t. sterling says:

      I agree the Jay-Z is definitely a talented poet. However I think I may have to seek out some lost youtube video or something of these alleged dancing I keep hear you speak of.

      It’s a shame, all that I hear about the Masons are mostly secretive things, almost sounding negative. The only exception would be the National Treasure movies.

      As for the images this video alludes to being “satanic”, I didn’t really want to post them. There were only about two of them anyone, but I provided a link to their video so anyone who wants to can form their own opinion. With the knowledge of religion that I have, I can understand where some people are coming from thinking what they think, but I’m an artist at heart and just see that–art. And entertainment, of course.

      And I actually just bought that Hope For Haiti Now album. I watched most of it that night and tried calling to talk to a celebrity. I didn’t make it through :o(

  2. […] to tell them otherwise. I think we covered this with Jay-Z’s visually stimulating “On To The Next One.” I’m still doing research on what the Illuminati is all about, but I’m not […]

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January 2010
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