will.i.am’s forays into technology have been well documented — more than a musician, the man wants to turn your iPhone into a professional grade camera, he premiered a song on Mars in conjunction with NASA and is lauding the importance of children learning computer programming.
With his interest firmly planted in technology and science, it’s no surprise that it would crash into the world of his music.
The video for “Scream & Shout” opens with a shot of will.i.am, in a brass claw-toothed cap and then flashes to a Barbarella-esque Britney Spears, in all black and gold. And then the replication begins. The visual that keeps repeating is a five-fold on white background of the two in different positions, posing. It’s reminiscent of a 1990’s idea of virtual reality and in some ways harkens to the visuals of Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream.”
Overall the aesthetic is retro-futuristic. Between close up framing that brings to mind ’80s cartoon Max Headroom, James Bond girl poses, a certain visual combined with a faux British accent from Britney that conveys hints of Madonna, the heavy gold chains will.i.am rocks in remembrance of ’80s hip hop fashion and even the recently nostalgic tagline “Britney B**ch” from the pop star’s infamous 2007 album Blackout all lie nicely alongside the technology of the present day that appears — a yellow camera & phone, a water-resistant iPhone case, a robot arm, a camera covered in Burberry plaid and gold plated, among others.
The fashion take away, in case you didn’t read any magazines this fall, is that gold is back. Seriously, put all your silver jewelry and accessories in a drawer until at least next summer. The mix of gold accessories and black clothing here paints a nice contrast that gives a futuristic feeling to the costuming without actually placing anything in the future.
Director Ben Mor (Katy Perry, the Black Eyed Peas) captures future retro by using gleaming contrasts. Everything here is surprisingly simple and not actually futuristic or technological at all — but the set design of the video would lead you to believe you’re getting a glimpse of what could be, instead of what actually is.
-Courtney E. Smith