Well, there’s not a whole lot going on in this video, so I’ll have to dig deep to find the mystical symbolism. I’m sure it’s there, because nobody in the entertainment industry would make a pointless video that means nothing, right? Anyway, here goes.
We start out looking at this old-timey TV set displaying flickering images of Usher and/or poltergeists. Why they would be using an ancient TV like this, I don’t know, because there are plenty of new-fangled sets out there and you know User can afford them. The camera starts zooming in while the music starts and Usher utters “oh my gosh” for the first of 7,235 times. Trust me, you will hate that phrase within two minutes.
Then we apparently enter the TV, just like that movie “Videodrome” where lots of people died. Usher appears to be trapped in a room with lots of blue laser lights criss-crossing the room. (Is he trying to rob a bank? Why is Usher insisting on pretending that he’s poor in this video?)
Oh look, the screen splits into two and now we have will.i.am on the left, in his own room with lasers. His laser beams are orange, though. I’m sure the different colors mean something (rankings on the Billboard chart?) but it’s not clear. We cut between the two for a little bit, so you can understand who is in which room. With two different people singing, it can get very confusing.
Then we have a close-up of Usher, as he’s pulling down what looks like the cowl neck of his black shirt, uncovering his mouth so he can start singing. He wants to love us down, which is nice and all, but you’d think he would have finished dressing before the video started.
Now Usher starts doing what might be dance moves, but they are very complicated and involve a lot of hand-pointing. These gestures seem to make the laser beams move around the room. Quick shot of will.i.am also wiggling and pointing, and suddenly the objective is clear: they have to dance their way past the security system or Tom Cruise will kill them. Got it.
This goes on for a while, so those must be some really smart laser beams. Or the guys just don’t know what they’re doing. Still, I hope they make it, because even if I don’t like the song, I really don’t want there to be a tragic end to this video. Because then they’ll pre-empt all my favorite TV shows while Larry King interviews the survivors, and I don’t think I can look at Larry’s suspenders one more time.
Oh wait, looks like at least Usher made it out alive, because suddenly he’s in a white room with lots of go-go-booted women who can’t keep still. The girls are hopping all over the place, doing things which include troubling crotch-thrusting, while Usher is acting like he’s on the runway in Milan. (Just a suggestion: maybe if the girls weren’t wearing leather bras, they might be a little more comfortable and wouldn’t need to thrust so much.)
Somewhere along the line, Usher picks up a fancy pair of sunglasses. We zoom in on those, and we are treated to reflections of people dancing around. (While Usher poses with his shades, we get quick shots of the lady dancers still trying to get away from the uncomfortable undergarments and the go-go boots.) Hey look, Usher is tapping a finger on the side of his head EXACTLY to the beat of the song. He is SO talented. Gosh.
Now Usher is wearing a trench coat and standing in front of what looks like a steel-plated wall. He does this little spinning move that causes his shadow to split into two shadows, and the shadows start dancing to a different song. Oh, now there’s four shadows. Not sure what the producers are trying to say. Does Usher have multiple personalities? (If that’s the case, I wonder which shadow is the one that didn’t get enough attention as a child?) Or are the producers just too cheap to hire actual dancers?
Okay, what is THIS? Usher is now leaping about two stories high and twirling in the air. Does he believe he can fly? Isn’t that somebody else’s song? This makes the shadows dance even harder, probably because they’re jealous that they don’t have their own jet packs. All of this activity causes the steel wall to drop, and we learn that it was just a fancy curtain. Well, that was pretty disappointing.
Back to will.i.am, who’s still trapped in his laser room, which means Usher is winning at this game. But at least will.i.am has some company now, in the form of another tightly-dressed dancer who really enjoys posing with her booty out while her face is covered in a fishnet stocking. She proves to be a very busy girl, running all over the room like the po-po be knockin’ on the door, but will.i.am doesn’t care, since it’s time for his solo and she can prance around all she wants as long as the camera stays on HIM.
Then we cut back to Usher (I’m assuming it’s Usher, because he’s rudely walking away from us and you can’t really tell) in a room that has apparently been rigged for 3-D filming. I’m only guessing, though, based on the weird red and green out-of-focus crap that is going on. It might just be poor camerawork or the medication I’m taking.
Usher is joined by two male backup dancers, and all of them start puffing on cigars while dancing, because we all know it’s so much easier to keep the beat when you’re sucking burning smoke into your lungs. The tobacco also causes them to do slightly suggestive things with the derby hats they are wearing, like blowing smoke rings while humping the headwear. I’ve never tried this, so I can’t speak from experience, but it doesn’t look like much fun. I guess you have to have a hit album or two to really enjoy it.
Then a red light comes on, and female dancers come piling out from somewhere. The girls mostly gyrate and raise their hands to the sky, thanking the Lord for this gig and the chance to feel tight leather in personal spaces, while the guys do some choreography that involves push-ups, squatting, and standing on their tippy-toes. Meanwhile, some of the female dancers find some convenient metal bars that allow them to spin around like Mary Lou Retton in a porn movie.
Finally, Usher decides that he’s earned his paycheck for the day, so he turns and walks off the set while the camera moves backwards and we pop out of the creepy old TV. Hmm. Interesting. But I'm still waiting for Tom Cruise to show up and take care of those laser beams...
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