Yellow Claw - When exactly is it going too far?
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
Yellow Claw recently unleashed their latest music video "Lick Dat," and it makes me wonder if they've hit a new low for shock tactics. Along with Borgore, they've consistently released music videos portraying graphic violence and women degraded as sexual objects. While Borgore seems to affect a Borat-ian satirical eye to his videos- which leads to a rabid female following posting "bootie for Borgore" pictures to his Twitter feed and live shows that come off like frat parties, the darker tone in Yellow Claw videoclips (suicide, gun violence) makes them come off much harsher.
Collaborating with the Mightyfools (best known for club hits like "Drum Fail," "Footrocker" and "Go!"), the new single "Lick Dat" incorporates sampled vocal lines about oral sex over a hardstyle beat. Not the most original thing in the world, but since the '90s are back in every other EDM subgenre, it's not necessarily that shocking. The video, however, features a cooking show chef capturing stray cats to abuse, murder, and cook. The meal, flavored with his urine, is served to brazen women who become sexually aroused. Get it - women literally eating cat. Funny pun, eh? Their previous videos have shown graphic lesbian sex, but in this context, they seem to equate female sexuality with cruelty, assault, and murder.
Do we think that the video is going to inspire people to murder cats as aphrodisiacs? No. Does it show that making shock videos with the intended purpose of going viral has reached a new low? I think so. I really didn't want to write this piece as to call any more attention to the clip,but seeing as so far no one is offering a critical voice online, allow me to ponder out loud and ask why PETA hasn't released a statement yet.
This isn't to say that EDM videos shouldn't be allowed to address difficult material or portray questionable activities. The problem with this particular video is the base emptiness at its center- it's the visual equivalent of checking items off a list. And when you use charged material like the abuse and murder of animals for no reason other than to color your gratuitous presentation of female sexuality, it makes you seem like a thoughtless sensation junkie.
It's easy to shock viewers. But if you're trying to make them think, then you're going to have to put in some effort. And if you don't care what your viewers think, well that makes you a douche.
WARNING: Video is Not Safe For Work (NSFW) and should be viewed by adult audiences only.
Image from single artwork of "Lick Dat" by Yellow Claw and Mightyfools - released on Barong Family records.
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