Saturday, February 18, 2006

L.L. Cool J featuring J.Lo - Control Myself (2006)

** (of four)

Hype Williams has used his double-letterbox gimmick - one video in the traditional middle widescreen portion of your TV box and another concurrent one on the top and bottom - for probably twenty videos in a row. Which makes me wonder two things, a) How far is he going to run this format into the ground? and, b) How far behind are the imitators?

So far I haven't seen any double-letterbox clones, aside from Hype's nineteen clones of his own original. Can you copyright or patent a video technique like this? Or did Hype just film and edit a shitload of these all at the same time and no one else has caught up yet? Either way, it's not bad unless you see it over and over and over. Which is starting to happen more frequently, with no relief in sight.

Hype's most recent double-letterbox is "Control Myself." L.L. Cool J is all over "Total Request Live" and VH1, promoting this perfectly bland effort with J. Lo. The Jermaine Dupri track has a Missy-demo feel to it, while L.L.'s rap flow about the girl he wants to jump on ("The afterparty is on my body?" Come on...) is delivered in a decades-old, "It's Tricky" cadence. And, Jenny From the Block, I know you got there first, but now it seems like you're imitating Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. Which makes your singing career that much sadder.*

The video's some B-minus fluff, too, consisting entirely of fashion-shoot soundstage stuff with L.L., J.Lo, J.D. and a half-dozen other sets of initials mugging and dancing on an underfurnished soundstage. There's the gray-tinted backdrop, the green-tinted backdrop, the blue-tinted backdrop, the white-tinted backdrop, the black spiral-pattern backdrop. Nothing too exciting.

But I do feel L.L.'s pain when he's surrounded by J.Lo and the other hot-ass dancers and laments, over and over, "It's hard to control myself, it's hard to control myself." I've got the same libidinal dilemma when my hand plunges into a full-pound bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar Lay's. Got a hearty lust for grease, I do.

* = Take solace in this, though - Fergie will no doubt imitate you by starting her own movie career, beginning with the Hollywood romantic comedy House-Cleaner in Honolulu.


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