With England’s poor European performance across the last two weeks (both on the pitch and in the polling booth) I’ve been somewhat distracted as of late. My posting habits here have been frequent yet somehow irregular. My Tweets have been aggressive and foul-mouthed.
It’s also had the unfortunate consequence that I have become distracted from the things that are really important in life. Like taking the time to explain why the video for It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy is absolutely insane.
Now, I enjoy reviewing lyrics of hilariously over-the-top songs, but I’d made a pledge to myself not to review music videos. It’s not that I don’t think it’d be fun, it’s just that Danger Guerrero/Brian Grubb was so good at it I don’t think it could really be beaten. It’d be like me Dad-dancing after Michael Jackson first revealed the moonwalk.
Problem is, I can’t review It Wasn’t Me and not take the time to talk about the video.
Good grief, the video. Check it out again here:
It starts with Rikrok waving to someone and jogging towards a house. Remember this, it’ll become important later.
Rikrok arrives at the house to tell Shaggy that he’s been unfaithful, and the pair of them sit around a table doing that cool thing people do in videos where they have a conversation, but semi-dance while they do it. It’s awesome.
The rest of the first half of the video or so is pretty much just Shaggy walking around a mansion filled with half-naked women, smoking a cigar and cocking an eyebrow. You know, as you do.
Oh, and making accidental David Brent faces.
Meanwhile, Rikrok’s girlfriend, apparently played by Macy Gray, is watching him cheating on her by using a weird walky-talky thing from her car. Why a weird walky-talky thing? Why from her car? No idea. That’s just passed off as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
Anyway, Macy watches for quite a while and gets more and more annoyed as the video progresses. I have no idea why she keeps watching, or why it would be any more annoying the longer you watch it, but whatever.
That’s when a couple of motorcyclists turn up, and sh*t’s about to go down.
For absolutely no reason I can work out, Shaggy stops ogling women and finds himself at the controls of a satellite surveillance system. I have some questions:
- Why does he have access to a satellite surveillance system? (that’s quite an important question, actually)
- Is it legal?
- I imagine you have to be on some sort of government register to own one of those, right?
- If he is registered, do you think it’s under the name “Shaggy”?
- Do you think his insistence on using the name “Shaggy” made getting on the register for owning a satellite surveillance system needlessly harder?
- Where exactly is this system based?
- What does he use it for?
- Why did he happen to zoom in on Macy Gray as she arrived at Rikrok’s house?
- Was he tracking her?
- Is he just watching people like some dark overlord?
- Or is he a spy?
- If he’s a spy, doesn’t he have better things to be doing than ogling women in a mansion and tracking Rikrok’s girlfriend?
- Is Shaggy supposed to be a Hugh Hefner-meets-James Bond character?
- If he is, what are the odds that the initial idea for the video was just Shaggy and Rikrok sat around chatting, and Shaggy insisted that they change the video so he can ogle naked women and use a satellite surveillance system?
Anyway, Shaggy beeps Rikrok on his pager telling him to get out. That’s all he says, no context, no explanation. “Shaggy to Rik: Get out!”
And Rikrok does.
Macy bursts in to the flat (which we can presume from the lyrics belongs to Rikrok) but Ricky isn’t there, just a naked woman under the bedsheets.
Now, if this is indeed Rikrok’s flat, I don’t know what running away is going to solve. His girlfriend came in to his flat and found a naked woman in the bed. She’s probably going to piece it together, even without the video evidence she’s already been watching.
Doesn’t stop Rikrok from leaping off a third-story fire escape though. Nope.
Seriously, the only thing Rikrok has been told so far is that he needs to get out. He’s so obedient he not only leaves, but throws himself 20 feet through the air to the concrete below.
If she couldn’t prove his guilt with video evidence, she sure as sh*t can by that reaction to that message.
Oh, he also steals a motorbike. Can’t forget that.
(Sidebar: It’s good of them to show him putting on a helmet before he rides. Wouldn’t want to show any impressionable youngsters watching Rikrok doing something dangerous. You know, like leaping off a building.)
(Sidebar 2: It’s lucky that he found a pair of gloves at such short notice, too.)
Rikrok takes off, but he’s closely followed by Macy Gray and one of the motorcyclists. He makes sure to pull a wheely, because if you can’t pull a wheely while trying to sneak away from your girlfriend after cheating on her, when can you?
Eventually Rikrok ends up trapped on a bridge.
At this point, his girlfriend is walking towards him after he stole one of her friend’s motorbikes from a place she had gone to catch him cheating on her. She is looking him dead in the eyes as he nervously glances from atop a stolen motorbike.
There is absolutely no way out of this. He’s not wearing a mask or anything. She’s looking right at him. Even if he does run away, she knows it’s him as she watched him get trapped.
Still, Shaggy has an idea.
He messages a lorry driver, giving Rikrok’s location. Nothing else, just says where he is. The driver goes to get him.
I really wish there was more detail on what operation Shaggy is running here. It’s fascinating to me.
Shaggy then pages Rikrok saying “look behind you”. Rikrok does, and a lorry approaches from the distance.
SO RIKROK JUMPS OFF THE BRIDGE ON TO THE LORRY.
Let me get this straight. Shaggy sends a three-word sentence to Rikrok, and he sees a lorry approaching. Without considering any other option he decides the only way to avoid talking to his girlfriend about the blatantly obvious cheating he’s been doing is to jump off the bridge.
What if that wasn’t the plan? What if Shaggy’s plan was a diversion that was going to appear a couple of seconds later? But nope, Rikrok’s all “the only thing I can see behind me is a lorry, therefore I must jump off this bridge and on to it without even considering literally any other plan”.
And AGAIN, Rikrok hasn’t spoken to Shaggy at all yet. They have spoken twice in this situation, both times a one-way page from Shaggy. One tells Rikrok to leave, so he jumps off a fire escape. The other tells him to turn around, so he LEAPS OFF A F*CKING BRIDGE.
I really, really have to know what Shaggy has over him.
Rikrok then crawls along the top of the lorry in a hilarious fashion, and Shaggy celebrates like they’ve pulled off the most incredible heist of all time, followed by one of the top 5 biggest sh*t-eating grins I’ve ever seen.
But to what end? Rikrok was caught. It’s not like leaping off a bridge has exonerated him from cheating. If anything, jumping of a bridge when your girlfriend tries to confront you about cheating makes you look more guilty.
And is that now it, then? Shaggy celebrates like the situation is fixed, as if Macy Gray isn’t going to just go back to Rikrok’s apartment and wait for him to come back and ask why he keeps jumping off of things to avoid talking to her.
This plan makes no sense.
The video ends with Rikrok getting out of the lorry and waving to the driver.
You see, the waving we saw at the start of the video was after he’d been saved from this situation. So… the second half of the video actually took place before the first?
This means that, when Rikrok arrives at Shaggy’s house to explain what he’s done wrong and Shaggy acts like he doesn’t know about it, he’s actually been watching it all by satellite all along. In fact, Rikrok doesn’t know that Shaggy’s been watching him all along. That makes his reaction to Shaggy’s two messages even more insane (if that’s even possible).
And after all of this, after seeing Macy arrive at the apartment with two motorcycle ninjas, after watching a city-wide chase which ends in Rikrok jumps off a bridge, Shaggy still thinks it’s an acceptable excuse to just say “it wasn’t me” when she inevitably corners him to ask what the f*ck just happened.
Like I say, it’s a weird video.
This isn’t the only brilliantly rubbish thing I’ve analysed. You can take a look at the others here:
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