As etiquette holds, Academy Awards are distributed to films, not music videos. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Oscar nominations are already locked in. Well, were already locked in. Everything changed last week when Turquoise Jeep Records dropped its music video, “Crotch Rock That Girl.”
Assuming you’re bewildered by the brilliant lyricism and stunning cinematography, I’ll summarize what you just saw: Slick Mahony buckled your seatbelt to take you on a journey of transformation, then he unbuckled the seatbelt to read you a romantic epic, and then he re-buckled the seatbelt to crotch rock you to sleep.
You’re unsure what all of this means, but it’s clear Slick Mahony’s party earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor and his music video the Academy Award for Best Picture. Yes, “Crotch Rock That Girl” is uniquely magnificent. We know this. Consider it settled. But why? Why’s it so good?
I’m not sure Turquoise Jeep Records knows. Obviously, they’re not a serious musical group. But they’re not satirical either. Satire implies there’s a specific issue being mocked. What is Turquoise Jeep Records making fun of? Modern rap? Popular music in general? Late 80s-early 90s music videos? There’s some sort of joke here, but pinpointing it is a challenge. Surely, the Turquoise Jeep members present themselves in earnest, so let’s analyze “Crotch Rock That Girl” as such. Maybe it’ll help.
The video opens with melodic tones you’d expect to hear from the band PoP! from Music and Lyrics. Slick Mahony enters as a portrait hanging on the wall. He remains stoic for only a moment, before being born into a world of superimposed props, psychedelic colors, and an Asian woman. The succeeding four minutes of ferocity are where Slick earns his Oscar. His character shifts from an insecure cool guy to a lovesick puppy to a dance instructor to a womanizing Casanova, all the while remaining the paramount beneficiary of the quick zoom. He teaches us about lust and love, and the risks therein. The story concludes with Mahony’s death as a pixelated still image, symbolizing the immortalization of his fantastically imaginative character. With that, “Crotch Rock That Girl” becomes a comedy and a drama and a romance and a dance documentary and a PSA in favor of picture frames all rolled into one.
Should I stop? I’m gonna stop.
“Crotch Rock That Girl” isn’t overtly funny. There aren’t any jokes. On the surface, the lyrics aren’t clever. The most creative line is the hook, which repeats “Crotch rock that oohhhh” as Mahony encourages a girl to rock for him. The song is somewhat catchy, but not in a boy band type of way. Not in a Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande type of way. Not even in a Rich Homie Quan Type of Way (whoops). It’s catchy in an annoying way. Mahony squeaks his way through each verse; his voice isn’t something to savor. When the song ends, you don’t immediately want to listen to it again.
Do you want to watch the video again? Is that Turquoise Jeep’s thing? The music isn’t soothing or fist-bumping, but the videos are hilarious? Eh, not really. After the fifth close-up of a superimposed art gallery prop, you chuckle. The tenth is accompanied by neon squiggles amid a fulvous background — you laugh a little harder. But by the 25th? You get the point. Video wise, “Crotch Rock That Girl” gets old about forty-five seconds in. That’s not why you keep watching.
Okay, so the joke is that it’s purposely bad? Kinda like The Lonely Island’s early stuff. I guess that makes sense. Except that it’s not bad. Everything is well produced. The lyrics flow. A rhythm exists. The video is well-directed.
“Crotch Rock That Girl” sucks, but it’s good. It’s as if Turquoise Jeep Records is a group of aliens. They don’t speak our language or understand our social decorum, but they can observe. And in their observation, they’ve noticed that some members of our society contribute music videos as a form of payment or penance or charity or something. Turquoise Jeep, then, feels obligated to submit a music video, too.
In the case of “Crotch Rock That Girl,” Slick Mahony and Flynt Flossy teamed up, as aliens do, to mimic our society’s standard music video. They began by composing a few verses of user-friendly lyrics about a dancing girl. Then, they set it to a simple beat that even the most ethnocentric alien could nod its head to. Next, they produced a video. In the video goes one man and one woman surrounded by some props and an offbeat color scheme. The male gets to wear different costumes. Everyone dances.
When Slick and Flynt finished, they brought their creation to the World Music Video President and said, “Hi. This is ours. Thanks.” Now, they belong. It’s a story of acceptance, really — of fitting in and acting like a member of a different world. Hmm. I guess Slick Mahony put on a stellar performance after all. I’m not budging on this Academy Award thing.