Video Review: Babyface "Whip Appeal"

On a humid night in Los Angeles, a radio station plays “It’s No Crime” by Babyface. The DJ says Deborah requested it for her friends stuck in an elevator where they work. The women in elevator fan themselves and write on notepads to keep busy. The DJ adds that an exit off I-75 is backed up due to a stalled car. He says the weather is currently at 96 degrees with 80% humidity. A woman honks her horn on I-75. Another woman watches the city over her balcony.

The DJ says they are returning back to Babyface’s live show. Holly Robinson announces they are now live again at Club Lococo. She tells people to relax as they listen to his music. A woman puts a scarf around her shoulders in her bedroom.

On stage, the female performers snap their fingers as they dance on the steps. Babyface, in the center, walks between them. A woman in a bathtub adjusts the volume on her radio. Another woman lies fluffs her hair as she lies down on her pillow in her bed.

At the club, a server carries a drink on her tray. The woman washes her leg in the bathtub. On the balcony, the woman rests her feet on the table and puts the cold glass against her cheek. The woman sponges her neck in the bathtub.

On stage, Babyface walks to each of his dancers and they touch him on the cheek or throw their heads back when he approaches them. Babyface walks into the audience and sings to a woman. He takes another woman’s hand and dances with her. He walks back up stage and sits on a stool. The performers use their arms like lassoes. The audience copies them. At the end of the song, the performers snuggle up to him while the audience gives him a standing ovation.

Rating: 5/5

Club Lococo gave Babyface his start. He would bar tend at night and write his songs during the day. Then, one night, a regular cancelled a few hours before and Babyface volunteered to take the spot. His performance was greeted by a cheering a crowd and a a promotion from the owner. For three years, he sang at the club every Saturday night and interviewed with the local papers. It led to him having the choice between several record labels.

After releasing his second album, he wanted to return to Club Lococo as a thank you for their support. He caught up with Holly, who was a server while he was there and joked with the owner about finally being able to replay all the glasses he broke as he charmed female customers. He noted how the place had expanded after he left and now had the cachet to air on the radio.

During his special performance, young women, some of whom were his early fans, sway to the music. A couple of his female performers told him they would sneak into the club to hear him sing. For the radio listeners, waiting to hear his concert, his voice distracts them from the heat and frustration. The homecoming humbles him, reminding him of how he once struggled. He wanted to give back to the place that lauched him, allowing him the success that had eluded him.

Director: Jim Yukich Year: 1989


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