Music Video Analysis Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like It’s Hot
Snoop Dogg Snoop Dogg is an American hip hop/rap artist and his hit single “drop it like it’s hot” (from the album R&G (Rhythm and Gangsta) The Masterpiece) was number one in the US charts and New Zealand singles chart.The music video is shot in monochrome and shows Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams dancing and singing with women expensive jewellery, cars and other materialistic things. The song itself is about dancing where the common phrase ‘Drop it like its hot’ is used meaning dancing. The content of the video would suggest that the target audience have an interest in expensive cars, jewellery and all other money-oriented objects, which is a typical feature of most hip hop videos. For example in Pharrell Williams verse “Eligible bachelor, million dollar boat” he refers to an expensive boat. the fact that so many references to expensive objects are made in the video could be a representation of the success of the artist.
Genre Characteristics Goodwin’s theory says that all music videos demonstrate genre characteristics. The main genre characteristic for this music video is the performance element of it, although they are not playing instruments typically hip hop songs consist of the artist singing or rapping. With one of the first medium shots of the artist dancing, another characteristic of the hip hop genre is the danceroutine itself and the style of dance, it features Snoop Dogg doing the ‘crip step’ which is a typical hip hop/street dance move, it also showsthe interest that the artist has over the music, it shows that he is enjoying it and so therefore does the crip step.The location of the music video is shot in a studio on a white backdrop,this makes it very sterile and allows for a strong contrast, this bringsfocus to the images on the screen.The video consists of close ups on materialistic objects such as expensive jewellery, cars and money. Frequent references to these objectssignifies the wealth and success of the artist, for example when the musicvideo shows a close up of a wad of money. The target audience can easily relate to the idea of having money and so therefore find it enjoyable to watch.
Relationship between lyrics and visuals When the lyrics are compared to the visuals in the video we can see that they are both illustrative and amplifying for example when the line ‘Drop it like its hot’ is played they show a medium long shot of the artists dancing. There are also frequent illustrative references to jewellery andcars when mentioned in the lyrics, for example “I got the rolly on myarm and I'm pouring Chandon” during this line a medium shot of Pharrell Williams Rolex watchis shown. Many other close ups are used onthese objects to give focus to the oneimage being shown.
The first shot of Snoop Dogg rapping is a close up this tells us that he is the main artist as he was introduced first, after that a medium close up of Pharrell Williams is used to introduce him and his performance element. Throughout the video when both Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg are on screen medium shots are used to show them together and people who aren’t singing in the video however, who may be dancing are in the background with a long shot to show that the dancers relationship to the music is less important then those who are shot in a close up frame. Medium shots are used to capture both artists at the same time but more importantly to capture their actions that make up the performance/illustrative element of the video which may be exaggerated to comply with the amplified relationship between music and visuals.
Demands of the record label Goodwin’s theory states that in order to meet the demands of the record label close up shots need to be used to introduce the different members of the band for example when the closes up of Snoop Dogg is seen – this introduces him as the main artist and it also introduces his role.Another demand of the record label is that the artists must have their own unique selling point, for Snoop Dogg this is his ‘godfather-like’ style for example in the video its in black and white which often relates to sophistication (black and white parties) he often appears to stand out in the video because of the clothes he wears and with the video being monochrome the effect is amplified. As well as this he’s quite relaxed when he raps and has his own style of rapping.
There are many shots of voyeuristic treatments of the female body, for example the shot of all the girls dancing in a line for the camera or the shot of the women from behind, both of which are pleasurable for the male audience because of the sexual way the women are portrayed through their clothing and on screenmovement i.e. dancing. The use of women in the music video also helps to sell the artist as looking very successful and popular as well asmaking the video enjoyable for the audience. The voyeuristic treatment of women in hip hop videos is very typical and is often a convention in all hip hop music videos.
Intertextual references There’s no direct Intertextual reference in the video, possibly due to the performance element of the video and the idea of only being interested in the artists and how they perform.