Video Review: Keyshia Cole “Love”

In New York City, Keyshia Cole and her boyfriend (Tyrese) argue in the car as two police officers approach their car. She asks him why the police would stop her. He puts it on her, saying she ran a light and was too busy talking. She says she “didn’t even see the light.” He responds that it was obvious.

On the driver’s side, the police officer asks Cole if she realized she went through a red light. She says she didn’t see it. Her boyfriend scoffs and she shuts him down by saying she’s telling the truth. She gets out the car.

The screen dissolves into a picture of her and her boyfriend cuddled up during a dinner party. She places her hand as his knee and watches him answer his cell phone. He walks away to continue the conversation in a separate room. It concerns her.

About ten minutes later, he kisses her on the cheek and tells her he has to go.

In her individual shot, she stands in Times Square with mascara running down her face.

Her boyfriend greets his friends in a SUV while she leaves the room. He looks up at their apartment, as though it were going to be the last time.

After taking a moment, she returns to party, pretending everything is fine. She kisses one of her friends goodbye. Once everyone has left, she sits alone on the couch, drinking a glass of wine.

She falls asleep on the couch. Sometime in the morning, he wakes her up with a kiss. She tells him hello and rubs his tattoo of her name on his arm. While eating her cereal in the kitchen, she flips the remote and finds security camera footage playing on the screen. It stuns her to see her boyfriend involved in a robbery. When he walks into the kitchen, she turns off the television. He kisses her on the lips. As he goes, she turns on the television again, wondering what else he is hiding.

A few days later, he takes her shopping. At the register, he takes out a wad of cash to payer for her clothes and a pair of boots. She opens her mouth to say something but can’t find the words. On the way back home, she looks out the window, thinking of her options.

Later, she takes a walk to clear her head. Two police officers stop her and ask her about her boyfriend. She thinks of the cash but tells the officers she doesn’t have any information.

Her boyfriend calls her and she says his behavior has to stop. That night, he picks her up.

Returning to the present, the officer remarks that he knows her. She responds with a tentative “you do?” He says, “Keyshia Cole?” and tells her he enjoys her music. He lets her off with a warning and wants an autograph. She thanks and gets back in the car.

She shuts the door and asks him point blank what’s going on.

In the backseat of his friend’s SUV, he asks him to stop and he leaves. After telling her about the robberies, he puffs out his cheeks. She tells him that she loves him.

Rating: 4/5

The nagging thought that something isn’t right bugs Keyshia Cole. She knows he is into something shady but isn’t sure how to handle the situation. She’s worried about his safety and for her own. The traffic stop scared her and it finally gets her to ask what has been on her mind.

Meanwhile, her boyfriend struggles with the pressure of providing for his girlfriend and retaining his humanity as he commits crimes. Somehow, Cole seems to be the only thing keeping him from going over the edge. However, he does shut her out, not wanting to talk about it.

The video presents two people at a moral crossroads: Cole could turn a blind eye and continue living the good life while pretending it’s above board while he fully gives into to becoming a criminal, losing whatever conscience he had in the process.

Although they have their talk, it seems as though their happiness will be short-lived. Eventually, her boyfriend will be caught for his crimes. His friends have no reason to lie for him. Jail is inevitable.

Relying on characterization rather than an unhinged, violent drama to tell the tale, the video flips the common tropes of a crime story into something personal and internal.

Director: N/A Year: 2006


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her poetry has been published in the White Wall Review and 45 Magazine.

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