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Macro & Micro Elements Urban/Contemporary Hip Hop / R’n’B

MISE EN SCENE The way that a scene is created in a video of this genre is vitally crucial, the way that elements like make up, costume and the characters within. Make up can differ on camera, when in a scene where there is clear heartbreak, the make up will be dark and smudged to show that the character has been crying or is depressed, sleep deprived. You see this in Tove Lo’s Stay High(produced by The Struts in 2013)If the scene is set in a party you see props like alcohol and drugs with party outfits on and the make up could be sharper and looking better which is shown in many artist’s videos. The setting is important for my genre because the locations I use must be authentic and believable to create a video of higher quality – for example in Marvin’s Room Drake (directed by Noah Shebib in 2011) the bar they use is very specific and creates an atmosphere that we can indulge in.

CHARACTER REPRSENTATION Character representation in a music video within the R ‘n’ B genre can be vitally important in creating the video because obviously everyone is looking at the main character in the video. Hotel Room Service - Pitbull When watching Pitbull’s Hotel Room Service (produced in 2011 by Jim Jonsin) we can various character representation but very clear representations – starting with the females, the close ups of the girls and their bare bodies and extravagant clothing just tells us exactly what Jim Jonsin was trying to show with this video – and gives us the audience a perspective of how these girls are – sexy, outgoing and confident. Then we have a clear character representation of Pitbull the main character we can see he is the one in control of these women and it tells us he is very confident, quietly arrogant but definitely a ‘lady’s man’. These representations are created heavily from costumes and camera work – because the costume gives us the identity and the camera work then points it out to us.

STEREOTYPES The stereotypes in this genre can range – the genre mixes a variety of genres into one, the ones that I’m focusing on are Hip Hop, Pop, Contemporary Rap and R‘n’B. The stereotypical video/theme of a music video is the idea of heartbreak and reminiscing perhaps an old relationship. There’s also a very stereotypical and frequently occurring theme of drugs and alcohol. We see this a lot now recently with Drake in videos like ‘Marvin’s Room’ or ‘Too Good’, we see Beyonce also matching this stereotype with ‘Drunk in Love(released in 2013 directed by Knowles, Timbaland, J-Rock, Boots’ and other songs, but in the past we saw Usher and Alicia Keys set the stereotype which is still around now. The stereotypical video to Contemporary R’n’B can be created with very isolated scenes with camera work focusing on the isolated heartbroken persona and then the switch to maybe a crowded place or intimate close up shots. This all comes from the setting and narrative that is introduced into the video.

NARRATIVE The narrative in music videos of this genre can be vital in many ways • To tell the story and meaning of the video – send a message out. • Advertise the song • To entertain the viewers so they want to watch it. Most music videos in this genre will have a clear video narrative that we can follow and become in tune with the song and video. It’s important that all the codes and conventions come together as one to create the representation that they are looking for to effect the viewers. Some music videos however may not have no narrative at all and maybe just the artist singing, this no narrative video could still send a clear message, stereotypically though, my genre normally has a narrative. Camera work and lighting along with setting are probably the most important elements for a narrative – the camera work and lighting can work to present a change in mood or events for example if something bad is going to happen the lighting could get darker with a combination of constricted camera shots. Setting is the most essential and needs to be planned and organized correctly so that we know where the audience are in the plot.

Effect on my work When creating my final piece I will take in mind all these codes and conventions of the Hip Hop and R ‘n’ B genre so that I meet the target audience requirements. The influence on me will mean most things I do will become very stereotypical to this genre. I will be creating a music video and making sure the setting is suitable and correct for the narrative that I want to have in the video and making sure that the character I use will be presented clearly so that the audience can engage easily to this. The hip hop and R ‘n’ B genre is a very retro and in fashion genre but I will look to be doing something very different but still meeting stereotypes. The use of all these codes and conventions make all these videos so liked and the songs enjoyable which is what I aim for.


Macro and Micro elements of Hip Hop & R'n'B  

A-Level Media work for music video.

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