If you were expecting a video full of decadence-of scantily clad women gyrating with little or no care, then your expectation was half met in this new video by Burna Boy. The video is littered with moments of women in their seductive element carefully portrayed to not bore you.
‘Rock Your Body’ is a song produced by Ghanaian-British producer DJ Juls. It has all the elements that has come to be associated with Juls within the afro pop scene- mid-tempo, classic highlife chops with its joyous glow. Weeks ago, Juls tweeted about the existence of a musical material between Nigeria’s Burna Boy and himself. He added that, the song is to be released as a single because of two reasons: One, it didn’t fit the concept behind ‘’Leap of Faith’’, his gorgeously crafted debut EP; and second, it’s being saved as a Christmas jam.
Listening to the song and its content, you realize why it is released a single. ‘Rock Your Body’, with its stealing someone’s girl and rocking her body like she deserves, could have distorted (slightly) the concept of ‘Leap of Faith’ which was about love- seek, find, appreciate and celebrate.
”If you give me your love/Then, I go give you my love too
If you give me the shit)/ Then, I ginger the jollof” – Rock Your Body
The video for ‘Rock Your Body’ is a glimpse into life in the ‘Burna Boy Mansion’ when he wants to indulge in his shenanigans. In 3:42 minutes, one get to see a lot of well-staged, well-coordinated acts superbly stitched together into a portrait of enjoyment of the viewer – fans and non-fans alike. There is a lot to unpack in this video. It’s not about the women, but more about the work put in by the hands during the creation of the final product (video).
The visual appeal and subtle inclusion of certain elements is what grant the video its aesthetic beauty.
Here are few of them:
Video Concept: As mentioned, the concept offers you (the viewer) into life in the ‘Burna Boy Mansion’. The viewer is offered a private viewing of Burna Boy in full mode. We are introduced to two men standing in front of a door to a house in the first scene. From their dark shades and looks, you realize why they are there: guard the door to the building. Next, we see them turn their head to the right, as if looking at an oncoming object.
One of the guard’s walks up to someone (not revealed) and suspiciously scrutinizes the person with all his might or power (like bodyguard do to disarm you of any confidence). After satisfying himself, he beckons his colleague, with a head nod, who opens the door. In goes someone (we only see his combat boots). A long shot of Burna Boy sitting in a chair like a king, lighting up a smoke comes up next.
Two women (one in a lingerie and the other in a black fur coat) making their way into his ‘hallowed ground’ (cordoned off area with yellow tapes emblazoned with the word ‘CAUTION’. As the camera rolls, we see the two ladies dancing as well as shots of others. The set is designed to look like a strip club. Some of the ladies are dancing in a cage with barbed wires on top of the cage. Others swing on big hanging hoops. One of the dancers, draped with the ‘Caution’ inscribed tape performs a trance-like dance.
Burna Boy is seen either sitting outside of the cage singing, or with the two ladies belly dancing or seen alone and topless. His body tattoos in your face. Watching that scene, one image readily came to mind: Lil Wayne in the ‘Mirror’ video with Bruno Mars. The director effectively used slow-motion effects where necessary and ensured that focus wasn’t prominently placed on the dancers especially the strip club scenes.
Use of Colour and Light: The whole ‘Rock Your Body’ video is dipped in neon lights. From the moment we meet the two guards at the gate to the dancing scenes, colour and lightening are employed to full effects. The use of neon lights is both for aesthetic value and emphasis. The eyes of the guards and dancers, the room setting is geared at making a statement: it’s going to be real here.
The lights transition from red (when he’s with the girls in his hallowed grounds) to denim blue (the guards) to something chrome-esque (when it came to the dancing girls). You sometimes see the use of dark colours to black out certain distractions (they want you to see the dancers only). Did you see the girl who pulled that Undertaker hide-your-pupil stunt?
The quality of lighting is seen in how the dancers/ models are illuminated on camera. The close-up shots and the tone of illumination provide the viewer with detailed skin tone of the dancers/models. (Did they use Fenty makeup?). It must be said that, all the dancers/models featured are all dark skinned. It seems the use of dark skinned women is becoming a thing.
Symbolism: Before the guards finally permit us into the mansion, you are shown the image of two sculptured dog heads, serving as door handles the house. The dog head could symbolize a lot of things including protection and bravery. In ‘Rock Your Body’, the depiction of those dog heads could mean a protected or well secured house that can’t be invaded without an invitation.
Another visible symbol we see immediately after the dog heads is golden many golden skulls. Here, it could reference the number of intruders’ slayed -a show of power.
The lyrics of ‘Rock Your Body’ is about stealing someone else’s girl and ‘rocking’ her body to her satisfaction. It’s a catchy, fun song. The video walks a fine line between glossy and moderate. That is, the video looks expensive watching it yet, it’s not excessive. Everything is neatly tucked. My only disappointment? The director isn’t credited on the Youtube credits.