“Shut Up U”, the latest music video from twerk queens Wassup, is an utter mess of EDM, colors, lights and processed vocals that never lets up and never stops. It makes little sense and seems to revel in that fact. And, because of all that, it actually (marvelously) works.
(The video can be found in the link below. Unfortunately, this blog format has trouble with the iframes embed code sometimes and the video isn’t on Youtube yet. If and when it is, I’ll port it over)
Like their past efforts, “Shut Up U” has a tiring effect on listeners. The heavy, plodding bass and caffeinated electronic synths combine for a beat that is somehow hypnotic and relentless at the same time. The structure of “Shut Up U” isn’t far off from any EDM beat that’s been popularized in pop music over the past couple of years but Wassup holds it all together with a fairly soothing chorus and hook which help keep the beat from running roughshod over everything. And as much as Wassup concepts and songs are about everything but the vocals (if you’re tuning into Wassup for the singing, you’re probably Doing It Wrong), they are quite nice in “Shut Up U.” A part of this is undoubtedly due to some fine production tricks but the rap from Nada comes correct on the track. “Shut Up U” doesn’t have many tricks up its sleeve and it’s only memorable due to how the dense beat tirelessly drums itself into the head but it’s a fun, disposable piece of music made by a group that seems to thrive when making fun and disposable pieces.
As for the video, while it’s not as focused as their debut twerkathon or as purposefully trashy-fun as “FIRE”, “Shut Up U” reveals what makes Wassup an interesting group to watch. Sure, the colorful outfits, stark urban settings, sexy dance moves and straight-up weirdness have been used by every group under the sun but Wassup utilizes these things in ways that many other groups simply don’t. Their sexiness isn’t so much inviting, cute or sensual as it is aggressive and even confrontational (Nari’s shorts have a giant eye staring straight at the viewer for god’s sake).
The lack of fucks given can be seen throughout. Men dressed up as “You’re Next” extras? Sure, why not. B-boys and bikers? You got it. A dance-in-a-box concept that melds the “plot” and “choreography” shots into one wild party at the end without any warning? Yes.
The total absence of cohesion (it seems like the boy furries and Wassup occupy different concepts until they inexplicably don’t) could (and perhaps should) doom any project but Wassup has such a refined attitude that it works to their advantage. The more disbelieving the video becomes, the more believable it is that Wassup simply has that much swag. The “YEAAAAAHH” on the song transforms from being merely a cop-out hook to being something of a boast. The viewer may not know what the fuck is going on but Wassup proudly acts as if they do. It is a daring trick that is rather perilous to attempt (there is nothing worse in pop than seeming inauthentic) but Nada, Nari and the gang never flinch and they make this hot mess of a video into their hot mess of a video.
Truth be told, Wassup has never struck me as being a group that is so trashy it’s good or so bad that it’s endearing. The group’s devil-may-care attitude is, paradoxically, carefully constructed and presented well in each of their videos, with “Shut Up U” being the latest evidence that Wassup’s trash is treasure. “Shut Up U” doesn’t make sense. However, sometimes the inexplicable is more powerful than the readily analyzed. As is seen commonly throughout human history, when the universe makes no sense people latch onto the supremely confident and charismatic to explain the inexplicable. Welcome to the religion of Wassup.