f you haven’t seen Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky playing Jackie O and JFK in her new video for National Anthem, I give you permission to ‘X’ out of this post right now and go here. It’s imperative that you experience the imagined Sixties universe where the President of the United States plays dice games in The White House. And everything else about her video was pretty awesome too. In fact, it got me thinking of other videos that play on that presidential theme. Check out five such videos inside.
Unlike the vid for National Anthem, these videos do not attempt to completely recreate specific moments in any President‘s political or personal life. But the images (and some of the actual song lyrics) reference a Commander-In-Chief or, in the case of the first video, a First Lady.
Now I know this list is hella incomplete, but, sadly, my brain has its limits. Please feel free to share videos that you think of in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them to the post.
Here are my five picks for videos that invoke American presidents… in one way or another:
1. Tori Amos: Jackie’s Strength
Like LDR, Tori Amos pays homage to Jackie Kennedy, but in a completely different way. In the song and in the video, she and other women draw on a particular feminine strength that might have carried the iconic First Lady through some troubling times.
2. Eminem: My Name Is
Now that it’s been, like 10+ years, I can actually watch this video and enjoy it. Ahhh, time heals all TRL wounds (omg remember TRL?!). Eminem takes on many forms in this one, but becomes a very special President at 2:46.
3. Young Jeezy feat. Nas: My President
Before Barack Obama even won, Jeezy was callin’ it. And the night Obama won, New York‘s Hot 97 had this song in heavy, heavy rotation. Rightfully so.
4. Eykah Badu: Window Seat
A lot of people were angry when Erykah Badu decided to get all artsy and birthday suit-y at the site of the JFK landmark. She even reenacts his assassination (the words “Group Think” leak out of her head, instead of blood), but she and her directors have said that it was all in the name of artistic expression. The vid was also inspired by Matt & Kim‘s Lesson Learned video.
5. Rage Against The Machine: Testify
Special thanks to Max Bauer, the kid in my high school honors classes who wore a RATM shirt every single blessed day. Finally one day we lent each other our favorite CDs. He gave me Rage‘s self-titled debut album, and I gave him DMX‘s It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot. Anyway, without Max, I wouldn’t have thought of this video.
Also, check out Complex Magazine‘s fantastic post on the original Kennedy photos that inspired scenes from Lana Del Rey‘s National Anthem.