Big Sean - “Guap” (GOOD, 2011)
This might be the best first half of a rap video that I’ve seen in about half a decade. Mike Carson does what every great rap video director who isn’t named Hype has ever done - a lot with a little. Dude flips the simple but heavily affecting concept of setting a late ’90s “Big Pimpin’” style beach party in the middle of downtown Detroit, not only saying a ton about the economic and emotional states of Sean’s hometown but also of rap music and music video making and the whole damn planet.
It’s a great enough half of a video to make me start to like this lightweight Roscoe Dash/Rich Kidz song about guap. Then again I mostly only hated it originally because I know that it’s going to get way more attention than most actual Roscoe Dash and Rich Kidz songs and only because Big Sean’s name is attached to it. It’s the “The Motto” effect - local hood sound or swagger picked up by famous and well groomed national rapper, people who had previously loathed and mocked the local hood shit suddenly love it, none of that love trickles down to the local rappers who pioneered the shit. But if that’s what it takes to get more steel drums on rap radio then so be it.
There is a second half to the video too, in which they inexplicably turn the beach blanket figurative bingo into an black light literal bingo and it becomes all types of boring. I don’t know what happened there, maybe Sean is really into bingo or maybe they just ran out of daylight on the shoot. But whatever, the first half is amazing and actually makes Detroit look like a place where someone might want to be, which is more than I can say about all those sourpuss Eminem videos and car commercials.