We Need To Talk About The Rick Ross And Skrillex Music Video For ‘Suicide Squad’
The latest music video from the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack is live, and it’s already an amazing cultural artifact. “Purple Lamborghini,” by Rick Ross and Skrillex, is a callback to the golden age of movie soundtrack music videos. Remember those days — when every single blockbuster had a music video from its soundtrack staged to make it look like the singers were somehow in the movie?
Rather than cutting in Suicide Squad footage, the “Purple Lamborghini” video does one better by featuring Jared Leto’s Joker. He walks in slow motion around Ross’ nightclub, gets Ross and Skrillex to sign on for some kind of heist/violence mission, and shouts at people (because he is edgy like that).
Sadly, the critics are drunk on haterade when it comes to “Purple Lamborghini.” Esquire’s Matt Miller, for instance, calls it “the worst thing about Suicide Squad” and implies that its aesthetic will get very dated very quickly. But that’s the hallmark of movie soundtrack music videos. Their coolness — what little bit there is — exists purely in the moment; some movie music videos become dated while you’re still watching them. The article also claims, “Music videos and movies—specifically superhero movies—are never cool,” which is just incorrect. Exhibit A: Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose” video for Batman Forever. There’s no need for an Exhibit B, because quite frankly, “Kiss From A Rose” says it all.
Meanwhile, Ross raps in a room full of knives.
Everyone gets in the car and does some hazardous driving.
WE’RE ON A BOAT!
“Purple Lamborghini” is the third Suicide Squad soundtrack video to be released. The first, released in June, was “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots; the second, also released in June, was “Sucker for Pain” by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Imagine Dragons with Logic and Ty Dolla $ign, featuring X Ambassadors. Just looking at that collection of names makes me feel elderly.
The criticisms of this video fail to give Ross credit for adhering to at least some of the rules of movie raps, set out as early as MC Hammer’s “Addams Family Groove” in 1991 and perfected by Will Smith:
Rule 1: The hook must contain the title of the movie.
Ross actually says “Suicide Squad” in the song: “You wanna know my gang/ Suicide Squad!”
Rule 2: The lyrics must be from the perspective of a rapper/narrator who is taking part in the movie plot.
As mentioned, Ross describes himself as part of the Suicide Squad “gang.” He also situates himself in Gotham (“Drugs every corner/ this is Gotham City”), and suggests that he is in some way the Joker, as the title of the song refers to the Joker’s car in the movie.
Rule 3: The song should mention at least one other main character.
Ross delivers not one, but two character references: “Deadshot/ Headshot/ Oh my God, am I crazy?” and “Killer Croc came to kidnap you/ to cut out your kidney.”
Sure, this song and the video are a mess. But it’s been a while since I saw a mess like that, and I’m ready to go along for the nonsensical ride.