In New York City, Ariana Grande sits on a lounge chair in her magenta lit bedroom with her best friends. She places Beats By Dre player on her vanity then begins to apply mascara and blush to her face.
A subway train rolls by. A woman runs as she crosses the street. The construction workers continue to work on the road. Another woman fans herself as she sits by her best friend. Two teenage girls play jump rope on the sidewalk. Two female neighbors argue by their stoop.
On the rooftop of a building, Nicki Minaj walks to a helicopter and gets inside.
Jessie J parks her vintage car and gets out in the street. Men and women check her out as they wait for their food or pause their conversations. She takes off her sunglasses and points to her friends. They begin to dance in the street.
Grande sits in her bed, kicking her legs and singing with a megaphone. She then dances in her room between two electric blue neon palm trees. Her friends also dance by her.
In the apartment buildings, people dance on their balconies. Jessie J and her friends walk down an alley. People race from the subway and run on the sidewalk.
The sun sets and a helicopter lands on a rooftop in the late evening. A young woman helps Minaj out of the helicopter. As Minaj raps, dancers perform a routine behind her. Jessie J and Grande then join her. A DJ plays music and people break dance.
Magenta then begins to spread throughout the city, seeping into the buildings and roads.
It’s 100 degrees in the middle of July in New York City. Young women wear bikinis as they head to beach. Some take a break on the sidewalk, fanning themselves while others get ice cream. The city continues to bustle with hot dog vendors selling lunch to hungry people on the way to see a show. The construction workers drill into the road, trying to get their project done on time.
However, once Jessie J steps out of her car, the neighborhood stops. Everyone wants to know who she is. With her black lacy bra, white suspenders and black pants, she has a toughened glamour to her. She hears the catcalls but then shuts them down. Young women surround her, hoping to gain some of her savoir faire. But her natural charm can’t be taught.
While the sun sears the people on the street, Ariana Grande is stuck in her dank neon-lit room, which diminishes her modern decorations, varying from electic art (old school emoji for love) to kitschy (palm tree). Grande brightens it up with winks and kicks as she applies her makeup, undercutting the permanent moodiness.
Nicki Minaj, though, on the rooftop, creates a sensation. The door is held open for her and someone takes her hand as she gets out. it’s a full-scale diva moment but it’s well-earned. Her landing places her above Jessie J and Grande as she pulls some rank. It’s fitting, considering she has collaborated with dozens of artists, helping them get the Top Ten hit they need.
Director: Hannah Lux Davis Year: 2014
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