“Otis” is huge. (As Funkmaster Flex put it, “This record might keep the summer warm till December.”) Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s Watch the Throne is almost omnipresent and all but guaranteed to hit #1 on the Billboard 200. How do you make a music video for the Otis Redding-sampling single off the record that drips with signifiers of wealth, without turning out some sort of baroque grotesquerie?
Hiring Spike Jonze is a good start. The acclaimed director is also quite the stylistic shapeshifter; the child-acted “Sky’s the Limit” was a clever way to make a Notorious B.I.G. video after the rapper’s untimely death, but it was also a spot-on homage to the Hype Williams videos of the mid-1990s (including a kid version of Busta Rhymes on a television showing a kid version of the Williams-directed “Woo-Hah! Got You All In Check”). Jonze’s “Otis” runs down a short checklist (using that Hype Williams fisheye, of course):
4. One Parks and Recreation star who just crossed one BIG item off his bucket list (By the way, Aziz Ansari, your Raaaaaaaandy bit about rappers not submitting their verses was great. Now that you’re in with Jay-Z, can you ask him about that verse he owes J. Cole?).
Sounds like a recipe for super-rich fun! We could imagine getting a ticket for doing donuts in that rocket car (and one lucky person will get the chance to—the end of the video announces that the car will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting those affected by the East African drought disaster. So that Maybach money will go to a good cause).
And for 24 hours only, here’s the “Otis” recipe in brief: