Skip to main content

Rap Video Cinema Studies: Rich Chigga's "Dat $tick (Remix)"

An in-depth examination of the latest eye-popping video from the Vine star.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

In addition to being a hip-hop fanatic and walking wiki-wiki-Wikipedia, I happen to have a B.A. degree in Cinema Studies from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. This means I have certified qualifications to take a meticulous eye to hip-hop's latest and greatest visual promotional tools to decipher what's really happening in front of the camera. This is Rap Video Cinema Studies.

Rich Chigga - "Dat $tick (Remix)"

For our first session, we have teenage Vine star (or "digital influencer" if you prefer to use terms that just depress everybody) Brian Imanuel who has garnered a substantial viral following for his hip-hop alias Rich Chigga.

After his original "Dat $tick" took on a life of its own earlier this year, Pouya and Wu-Tang's Ghostface Killah hopped on the remix, which was released today in one of the most compelling music videos this year.

Opening with an on-fire Chigga wearing a fannypack while rolling slowly on a hoverboard -- aka, quite possibly the most challenging first half of a sentence I've ever had to write -- we have the young Chigga juxtaposing the very old with the very young in a perhaps unknowing tribute to the Spike Jonze directed video for Wax's "Southern California."

From there we get a motif of lights and modern automotive technology. Women are seen deploying cartooning characteristics of trucks, the splashing of automated robotics in Pouya's verse, there's a full-fledged omnipresence of digital and manufactured exaggeration.

While Chigga himself is, to needlessly implement British slang terminology, taking the piss out of street mixtape music, his performance on the song and in the video is one of sheer focused dedication. This allows for a sturdy ground of subtlety which the ever-accumulating absurdity can flourish upon.

But Rich Chigga's aim in the clip is neither one of deconstruction nor elevation. "Dat $tick (Remix)" exists to be as insistent within its established mise-en-scène as possible. Case in point, the Ghostface cameo.

While it's clearly him on the verse, Tony Starks is not in this clip.

Rap videos typically deal with the absences by working around the absence of the featured artist with a facsimile (the Biz Markie puppet in Masta Ace's "Me & the Biz"), editing in b-roll footage of the artist (the then-incarcerated Keith Murray appearing in an early CGI-misfire in KRS-ONE's "5 Boroughs") or just shooting exterior shots around the missing verse (Eve's rhymes on the Roots' "You Got Me" which, to this day, people still think was contributed by Erykah Badu) "Dat $tick" opts to first just place a Clutch Cargo-style Ghostface-face over Chigga's body, intercut with a floating gold bust of the Ironman.

But the strongest imagery from the clip comes from the mouth of the fanny pack opening. Seemingly an attempt at digitally emulating a practical effect with the faux-tactile tongue standing in strong contrast to the overtly CGI surroundings, the phallic nature is only the surface reading. The deeper assertion that our carnal physical instincts, even if inherited as part of our past, will always be at the center of our desires, regardless the depths of an electronic reality we plunge ourselves into.

See a rap video that deserves a cinematic interpretation, hit me up at @chazraps.

Next Up

minnesota state fair

How to save money at the Minnesota State Fair this year

The fair released its money-saving tips Thursday, including on parking, admission and entertainment.

Motel 6 Rochester

Threat of 'potential overdoses' among youths prompts Motel 6 raid

Rochester police says fentanyl pills were among the items seized.

boyd huppert

Boyd Huppert, Twin Cities TV stations among Murrow Award winners

The KARE 11 personality known for his 'Land of 10,000 Stories' feature was among the national winners.

Bar beer

Study: Excessive drinking cost Minnesotans almost $8 billion in 2019

The study was published by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

Disney+

Price of Disney+ is going up, unless you want ads

The ad-free version of Disney+ will increase from $7.99 per month to $10.99 per month, effective Dec. 8.

SuspectsWantedMOAShooting

Mall of America shooting suspects arrested in Chicago

The two suspects were spotted leaving a barber shop.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Walz: Increased state law enforcement presence to stay in Twin Cities

A multi-agency effort to curb crime will go on until further notice.

SuspectsWantedMOAShooting

Bloomington PD to provide update on Mall of America shooting investigation

There's unconfirmed reports the suspected gunman and an accomplice have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 3.14.27 PM

Motorcyclist found dead behind guardrail 6 hours after crash

The crash happened before sunset Wednesday, but no one called 911.

Related

Why are so many rappers remixing Solange's 'Cranes in the Sky'?

How did Solange's song about proper internalized coping become the year's hottest rap track?

Watch: Atmosphere make "Seismic Waves" in new video!

Atmosphere drop their new "Seismic Waves" video ahead of their Freshwater Fly Fishermen Tour with Brother Ali and deM atlas.

Maroon 5 channel Pokémon Go for "Don't Wanna Know" video

The new Maroon 5 video, featuring cameos from Sarah Silverman, Vince Vaughn and Shaq, will make you think twice before you throw your next Pokéball.

Tech N9ne goes rollerskating for "Erbody But Me"

Tech N9ne is joined by Bizzy and Krizz Kaliko for a new club jam "Erbody But Me."

Watch 24 seconds unfold in super slow motion with OK Go's new video

OK Go went with the high FPS slow motion video for its newest video.

The Roots' Black Thought raps about autumn on The Tonight Show

When requested to make a song about the fall season, Black Thought may have freestyled his way to a new seasonal classic. It's a must-hear!

Watch: Action Bronson and a horse in "Durag vs. Headband" video

The flow of early Bronson with the mind-blowing imagery of his more-recent work.