Thursday, November 5, 2009

"What's My Name?" -- a music video retrospective

Of all the West Coast rappers, Snoop Doggy Dogg always seemed to be most preoccupied with the opposite sex. Sure, he liked money and mayhem, but romantic involvement pervades the catalog... more so than Dre ("Bitches Ain't Shit"), Ice Cube ("Get Off My Dick and Tell Yo Bitch to Come Here") and the others. Inexplicably for a rap artist, Snoop was monogamous for the brunt of his fame (in fact, he married his high school sweetheart). Snoop tried to give up marijuana, but never once did he swear off sexual seduction.

Snoop Dogg has had a very long-lasting career (maybe because he was a lover and not a fighter?). But in 1993, he was just another dog. Literally. "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" has quite a poignant video.

I, like most people, enjoy anthropomorphism. I think it's a little abusive, but it definitely isn't cats boxing to the death. Rottweilers with sunglasses and Dobermans throwing dice are adorable. This may be the cutest gangsta rap video ever.

The only storyline here is the "Doggs" avoid capture by Animal Control. (Notice the dog catchers' hats are on sideways, denoting their incompetence.) They break up picnics and just run around. And, when the dog catchers come into the bar, they morph back into humans to avoid kennel time.

There is a definite shout-out to Dogs Playing Poker going on here (the artwork is even in the background a few times). And, the video doesn't explain if the people are actually dogs-in-disguise, or humans-in-disguise. They were rolling dice and dancing as dogs, so they must have been really comfortable as canines. These are the things I dissect.

TV Funhouse was one of the funniest Comedy Central shows, and you have to wonder if Triumph was inspired a little bit by this video. No shapeshifting going on there, though.

Video facts
Length: 4:28
Director: Fab 5 Freddy
Date: circa November 1993
Est. Cost: Unknown

And now... an obligatory animated GIF.


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[All images are © their respective owners.]

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