Link to analysis of Lil’ Wayne’s ‘How to love’:
Lil Wayne is a Hip-Hop artist. Chris Robison directed the video for the his song ‘How to Love’. The video was given a very clear story line, with a strong message. It’s about a mother, who has been mistreated and her daughter ends up following in her footsteps, down the wrong path. Personally, I think this video is brilliant, a lot of time an thought has obviously gone into it and it has an important message which needs to be heard.
When asked about the video the director said, ‘I have a daughter, Wayne has a daughter and he really wanted to tell the story. We were talking about the statistics of abuse in our community. We were talking about really telling this story for every young woman in the world.’
The Video begins with a Woman lying on a hospital looking distressed. The doctor says ‘You’re going to feel a pinch and then we’ll be done in just a few minutes. I know you’re nervous.’ The women says. ‘I can’t do this and is seen running away in her hospital gown.It then shows a baby in a carrier in the foreground and out of focus in the background, the mother is being abused by the father. The mother and older daughter are then seen visiting a man in prison, showing the dysfuncional family life the young girl has experienced. The girl is shown in the next shot as a teenager and the mother has a new boyfriend, who molests her because now she’s ‘grown up, so fly it’s like a blessing.’ The mother is oblivious to it, she’s sleeping. She’s then shown as a bad girl at high school, not studying, making out with her tattooed bad boy, boyfriend. Beginning the vicious cycle, her mother went through again! ‘Never really had luck, Could never figure out how to love.’ The daughter is then seen as a grown woman, with her own children. ‘Now you in a corner tryna put it together, how to love, how to love.‘ In contrast to the previous shot, where she appears to be a loving mother, she is now seen as a drug taking stripper. ‘For a second you were here, now you’re over there, it’s hard not to stare the way you move your body, like you never had a love.‘ One of the audience is then seen giving her money, propositioning her to sleep with him for money She agrees and they walk off together‘The fact you saw the world affected all your decisions, but it wasn’t your fault, wasn’t in your intentions.’ It then shows her sitting alone, the man puts some money on the side and then Lil’ Wayne is standing behind her, puts his hand on her shoulder, in an almost comforting way. The girl is then shown with the same doctor, from the start. She’s told she is positive for HIV. ‘Your blood tests came our positive…HIV‘ She breaks out in hysterics. Being embraced by her mother. The daughter is seen running down the same corridor as her mother at the start. Still hysterically crying. ‘I just want you to know, you deserve the best, you’re beautiful.’ All the pictures are then quickly shown in reverse, as if her live if being rewinded back to the points that affected her life and brought her to her tragic end. The final section of the video shows what could have happened if her mother had been supported but her family, she settled down into a loving relationship, stayed in school and graduated. It reverts back to the doctor’s room. This time, her blood test shows something very different. She’s pregnant. Her reaction is a good one. Her mother embraces her with a smile. In between each shot it reverts back to a shot of Lil’ Wayne singing in a corridor.
This video doesn’t seem to fit the conventions of Hip Hop videos. They tend to use alcohol, feature recognised brands and clothing, the artist is usually seen to in expensive cars and houses, which aren’t features of this video at all. Whilst the camera shots tend to be long, revealing the large amount of money involved. With close ups on jewellery and the artist. Attractive women are shown in this video, which does up hold one Hip-Hop music convension. The videos also do not usually follow a story line, in ‘How to Love’ the central feature is the thought provoking story line.