Video Review: Ne-Yo, Stefflon Don & Bebe Rexha “Push Back”

A red record begins to play on the turntable. Stefflon Don, wearing a cropped t-shirt and jeans, stands against an animated background of a red blob and newspaper print. A duplicate of herself appears to the left. A female dancer moves her arms by a stack of aqua painted tires and a cardinal red painted mural.

Ne-Yo rubs his chin as he stands against a mural of newspaper print, symbols and streaks of yellow. A second female dancer shakes her butt next to him. It rotates to a red and yellow painted wooden fence. He tips his hat while some male dancers perform at the mural. They also join him at the red and yellow painted wooden fence.

Ne-Yo continues with the routine against the cardinal red painted mural with the dancers.

Ne-Yo is animated and multiplied in streaks of red and yellow. A broken L moves along the animated red mural as Ne-Yo and the dancers continue the routine. The male dancers move their butts against an animated royal purple mural.  A second male dancers dances against four yellow streaked garbage cans.

Bebe Rexha puts her arm on Ne-Yo’s shoulder as they stand a red painted wooden fence.. She sings by herself by the four yellow streaked garbage cans. As Rexha points her finger, she is split into four different versions of herself, displayed on both sides of her. She runs her butt on Ne-Yo’s legs as by the red painted wooden fence.

Stefflon Don raps against a red, white and blue painted mural. She shakes her butt and her image is duplicated several times. Ne-Yo and the dancers continue to perform as they rotate through the different murals. The record stops.

Rating: 3.5/5

The pieces of urban art featured each delve into various areas of a recovering city. The first mural, with the newspaper print and random streaks, explain the city’s history. People of various nationalities live in certain areas with the media stationed in the middle, covering the crime and scandals of city hall. The people’s voices are shuttered against the conflict between the city and the suburbs. The city’s problems grow bigger each passing year.

The second mural with the tires see the city in disrepair. Junkyards of tires fill entire spaces. The police have been called and citations issues. However, the owner does nothing. Murders have occurred near the neighborhood as people steal the tires for some money. With the wooden red and yellow streaked fences seem to represent boarded up homes. People have long moved out and the area has become a haven for drug dealers.

Homelessness has increased, as the stack of garbage cans suggests. People, in tattered clothes, gather by the cans to stay warm. They hang out near stadiums to ask people for money. Parts of the city are thriving, though. Historic buildings have been bought by investors. Lofts have been built close to the shops in the city. Restaurants are moving into closed, rundown shops. Each person, regardless of sex, race or nationality, are American citizen who needs help. Some of have good jobs in the city. However, others are struggling and being denied benefits.

Director: James Larese Year: 2018

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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 work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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