In a hit-all-your-demographics move, there are multiple versions of this video out there for the various social classes to peruse. All of the videos basically involve the same thing: hot women wearing tea bags as bathing suits, Iyaz jumping around and grabbing his crotch as a form of communication, and a story short enough that you could write it on a toothpick. The two most popular versions seem to be the “street cred” video (Iyaz gets busy wearing bling and swagger) and the “Ivy League” video (Iyaz struts around in a preppy sweater-over-shirt ensemble, like he just flew in from the Hamptons, with caviar stains on his ascot.)
I decided to go the sweater route, because apparently that bulky outfit somehow restricts his arms a wee bit and he’s unable to juggle the rocks as much as he would like. Trust me, this restriction is a blessing. After 34 shots of that hand being where it shouldn’t be in the “street” video, you’re more than ready for anything else to happen, like dental surgery or a zombie invasion.
And here we go…
We start out with Iyaz slipping on some fancy headphones, then glancing up at us seductively as the music starts. (Of course it’s his song coming out of the speakers, because a true artist only listens to themselves, right?) Then we quickly jump to a beach, where Iyaz is facing away from us, fiddling with what looks like a giant touch-screen in the sky. He’s flipping through a bunch of photos and, naturally, every one of those pics involves beautiful women dripping with desire, on the verge of ripping off the last of their minimal clothing.
We jump-cut our way to the preppy part, with Iyaz in the high-end sweater, bouncing around in front of what looks like a giant flag of the Virgin Islands. Or at least I’m assuming it’s the Virgin Islands, since that’s where Iyaz grew up. Otherwise, who knows. Memorizing flag design is not something I take seriously. All I know is that the women appearing in this video shouldn’t be allowed in the Virgin Islands anymore, since they obviously lost that status a long time ago.
Then we’re back to another beach scene, with Iyaz wearing the headphones from the first scene (product placement!), sitting on the sand and bopping his head to his own tune. Wait a minute. We can clearly see the headphone jack dangling down, so we’re not talking wi-fi here. Where the hell does he have that plugged in? There’s nothing around him except sand and some pissed-off seagulls. (Why are those birds always so angry, with the screeching and the diving?) Obviously, the director didn’t really plan this shot very well. Then again, pop-music shorts haven’t involved realism since, well, Martha Quinn introduced her first video thirty years ago, with the peppy enthusiasm of a cheerleader who took a few too many Midol.
We jump between these locations for a while, and a new member of the cast makes her debut during the process. We have quick shots of her lounging on the beach in what appears to be a leopard-print muumuu of some type, all draped and heavy-looking. I’m sure that’s really comfortable in the hot sun. She’s fussing with her sunglasses like she has a massive headache. Poor thing. Hey, maybe if you take off the inappropriate Eartha Kitt outerwear you might feel a little bit better. She just has that “high-maintenance” look and we could never be friends.
We are treated to more jump shots involving Iyaz wearing the chastity-belt sweater, Iyaz sitting on the beach listening to music that can’t be coming from the prop headphones, and Iyaz fiddling with the trampy digital women on the giant porno screen in the sky. (Eartha is in this montage as well, although her acting assignment consists mainly of sprawling on a towel in a comatose manner.) Oh, and they throw in some palm trees here and there to remind us that Iyaz is from the Virgin Islands. Or that your life really sucks because you don’t live on a beach. Or something. It’s not clear. The trees just keep popping up, just like the breasts of various unidentified women.
Then Iyaz magically changes outfits and wanders down the beach with some buddies. (The buddies don’t seem to have a purpose other than to mingle near Iyaz and make him seem interesting. You know the type. They show up at a party without bringing anything, not even some off-brand chips and dip, and they suck down other people’s booze and leave the toilet seat up.) Iyaz, led by fate and the paper-thin script, comes across the leopard-print woman wallering around in the sand and trying to breath under the weight of her costume, and they instantly fall in love. She basically spends the rest of the video clinging to him like a snapping turtle.
Side Note: Despite Iyaz and Eartha Kitt-Leopard leaping from “first glance” to “sworn betrothal” in about three seconds, with Iyaz singing lyrics about “making her my girl” and pointing at the finger where his diamond-encrusted wedding ring will soon reside, the two of them have very differing views of the impending nuptials. Eartha spends her time arranging herself prettily in glamour-shot tableaus, many of them involving her thrusting her favorite body parts against her crooning suitor. Iyaz throws up red flags by continuing to review that slideshow-in-the-sky of scantily-clad vixens who are not Eartha. Perhaps there’s been a misunderstanding about the parameters of commitment somewhere along the line.
In one of those whimsically abrupt music-video transitions, we’re suddenly on the beach, either later that day or whenever the production schedule allowed for a night-shoot. There’s some type of party going on, and we know this because everybody has their hands in the air as they shimmy around on the sand and smile happily at each other. (With “happily” meaning “I’ve been doing tequila shots since Tuesday and I think I missed my plane but it is so much fun to dance barefoot in the sand”.) To ensure that we grasp the intended theme of this segment, we have close-up shots of tropical fruit, bonfires, lit torches, and those watery, neon-hued beverages that no serious-drinker ever touches because the syrupy sugar-content is going to counter-balance the alcohol and we can’t have that.
The camera attempts to focus on the Snapping Turtle Bride-to-Be, but this is not a completely rewarding experience. She’s pretty and all, but she clearly wasn’t hired for any other skill set. She certainly can’t dance, moving around stiffly like somebody lost a bowling pin and she just found it lodged in an unexpected place. She can’t remember where the camera is and she keeps looking in the wrong direction. (Did she not read her contract? Gaze adoringly at Iyaz as if multiple orgasms are zinging through your body. That’s it. Don’t do this improvisation mess where you are minimally-emoting in the direction of non-union beach chairs that are not actual actors.)
As for Eartha’s mouth? Oh my, there’s some mess going on right there. She’s fine when it’s closed and she just looks lost and confused, haphazardly dancing in a manner that might require medical attention. But when she opens that mouth to yell “Hey!” along with the song? I don’t know that we’ve ever seen an orifice that big. A crop-dusting plane could fly in and turn around without ever touching either cheek.
And that’s about it. We spend the rest of the video jumping around these four scenes, although we spend the majority of time at the night-party on the beach, with everybody dancing like Iyaz is singing the most fantastic song they’ve ever heard and they can’t help but move. Sadly, these people also weren’t hired for anything other than the ability to smile on cue. They only know two basic dance steps, which they perform repeatedly until it looks like an aerobics class gone terribly wrong, and there are probably going to be casualties.
We end the video with Iyaz and Snapping Turtle alone on the beach, with a nice little bonfire in the background. The flames of the fire leap and spark, signifying that their lust is forever and there will never be a pre-nup in this relationship. As the song fades, they lean in for a kiss.
I hope Iyaz has dental insurance. Because when that crop-duster flies back out of Eartha’s mouth, he’s in for a big surprise…
Click here to watch this video on YouTube.
Originally published on 01/15/10, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.