The recent release of Stromae’s latest video for “Ta Fête” is as good a reason as any to do a post on last year’s “Papaoutai”, which has been languishing on my To Do list for more than a minute. So yes, we can talk about the new clip but it’s actually the least interesting of the trio of vids that have been released to promote this album project.
Stromae, a Belgian rapper best known to American audiences for the Kanye remix of his 2010 hit “Alors On Danse”, got the party started again last year across Europe with the release of his sophomore album, Racine Carrée. Third single “Ta Fête” is fittingly tied to the current World Cup mania and the video is a visually stunning mélange that is equal parts Hunger Games, parkour and sports metaphors… I think.
A stadium sized audience wearing derbys chants and watches as a onesie clad dude emerges from a cannonball and is pursued by a guy with a huge mallot, a lady with a rolling pin and a chick in a bridal veil. There are stunts, lots of action and plenty of CGI with Stromae hosting the proceedings though I’m not quite sure what it all means. Easier to decipher is the powerful clip for last year’s “Papaoutai”. The rap verses detail, en français, the strained relationship between Stromae and his father while the video finds him playing the absentee elder Stro to a lip syncing younger actor playing Stro Jr.
Monsieur ‘Mae gets his madame on in the gender bending clip for the first single from Racine, last year’s “Tous Les Mêmes”. The song goes down the oft-traveled “men ain’t sh*t” pop path and the video finds the rapper tackling the war of the sexes subject matter by adopting both a literal male and female side. Also thrown into the mix are a few fun scenes for Mister S. gettin’ down with a troupe of Victor/Victoria dancers.
Despite a few “next big thing” declarations from a handful of U.S. media outlets, methinks that Stromae might be a bit too “WTF” for American audiences whose male pop stars are bit more of the Timberlake and Bieber vanilla variety.
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