in living colour: busta rhymes
Greetings cool kids,
Welcome to a special installment of the In Living Colour series. In expected fashion, we would like to celebrate Taurus season by honoring two of the most iconic bulls in the game— rapper and record executive, Busta Rhymes celebrates cuspy life on May 20th, accompanied by Janet Jackson born on May 16th. The two join forces for the groove track, “What’s it Gonna Be,” setting itself apart from typical rap and sung collabs of the time. With its signature nasty tempo, this is the type of throwback you toss in the latter end of a party mix— the type that tests both waists and footwork.
Staying true to Taurean flare, this Hype Williams directed visual is on the list of “Most Expensive Music Videos” costing towards 2.5 million dollars to produce. It features heavy use of special effects, animation, and an impressive repertoire of latex costuming. The themes of this video are overtly sexual— taking the viewer on an erotic journey that ends ultimately in liquefaction. I mean who doesn’t want that?
“Every time we crossing the borderline
Be giving it to you making you feel fine, turn the heat up
Better believe we gon' shine, make your body wind”
Standouts: Slip and Slide
Emotion: Newness, Clarity
Busta opens the video tellin y’all he’s been ‘bout this Afrofuturism s***. Robotic movements, shoulder leans, pops and locks— all within seconds of emerging from a broken glass of what reminds me of Mercury. The innuendo here is interesting. While everything else would melt, he is the only thing to become solid.
This chrome moment reminds us of the lustre in everything. Everything has a silver lining. Everything may shine. And that’s what Busta did here with this factory powered brightness— all sanitary and stark.
After experiencing this biochemic morph into cyborg, Busta is new again and ticking into place as he grows more comfortable with his new form.
”Gonna make gonna make you think of naughty things
Like me on you (or me on you) and you on me (yeah, what it's gon' be?)“
Standouts: Majesty, Power, Respect
Emotion: Control or Submit
After a while, the viewer might get lost in the sea of cool that commands this video’s palette. One of my favorite things to note are the warmer tones that counterpart it all. And all that brown skin. Janet’s silky glow is so inviting here matched against that powerful violet of her latex suit.
Clad as a dominatrix, these scenes of Janet are as enticing as the moment before initial embrace. Here she is as sensual as ever yet still luring the droplets of men that fall and absorb within her. Keeping in mind that she also dons the color of nobility. It is clear who holds the power in this moment. Here’s a hint, it’s definitely not us, viewers.
“Best believe, we really gon' get you
Light up whatever you wanna flaunt
'Cause we be dippin’ it baby, so what you want?”
Standouts: Liquid Cool
Emotion: Slow burn
The icy finish to this video is a guitar solo I wish I actually had the chance of hearing in real time. Busta is shredding on his knees all the while bathing in the volume of those notes. The blue is a nice touch here hoping dearly that the viewer is as wet as Janet promises. Clearly Busta is. See how he is submerged in the vibrations?
Under the sea or within a dream, this is the deep end we want to explore. Thanks to these two sensual bulls who grazed us this path on their journey.