Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Thinking Project: Internet Tricknology--Is Jay Z's Video "On To The Next One" Satanic? Is Jay to the Z a Member of the Illuminati?

I don't know if Hova worships the dark prince, but this is one hell of a video.

I am a connoiseurr of conspiracy theories (I am very excited about Jesse the Body Ventura's new series by the way). As Gordon goofs on me often, I still do not believe that NASA went to the moon...or alternatively we arrived there and were told to leave. I also don't by the official story about 9/11. But, the idea that On to the Next One is full of satanic/Illuminati/Masonic imagery (the imprecise, and in some ways contradictory nature of the claims give away their thinness) does not sound persuasive to my ear.

Second random question: for those in the know, given his success maybe The Boule recruited Sean Carter after his rise to elite celebrity status?

Now, that is not to say that some interesting work cannot be done in analyzing these visuals. Personal note: start making notes on the video to write an article on the politics of its aesthetic conventions. What do you all see in this video? What is the symbolism? I see a combination of black and white surrealism, Rorschach test imagery, a wink to said character in Watchmen, and no small amount of borrowing from my queen J-Lo's underappreciated classic The Cell.

Is the following annotation of the video correct? Send in your detailed commentaries. I would love to feature the best one, and perhaps there is a prize in it for you critical sorts counting down the days until your winter vacation ends.


Pandora Bunny said...

Chauncey, I agree that the argument is pretty weak. I would say that the video says more about the director than the artist. Rorschach is obvious, agree about borrowing from The Cell (I haven't seen that movie in years).

In addition, the guy with the tattoo on his chest looks like a young Marilyn Manson. The pair of lips look like a tamer version of the TrueBlood ads. The man with the white make-up actually looks like he was a reject from Godsmack's Voodoo video (probably for being too clean looking-or cause he's white). I don't understand how the ballerina represents a Knight Templar. Instead she is reminiscent of a Zhang Ziyi type character from Kung-fu movies (Hero, Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers, etc). The white paint/milk (and the moving wires) remind me of Royksopp's "What Else is There?" ( The oil looks like a less sexual version of Shakira's "La Tortura".

What I was left wondering about was the constant reference to 3; 3 fingers, 3 scratches, 3 bullets, etc. Any thoughts on that?

Pandora Bunny said...

Oh, and I also don't believe that we landed on the moon. And I'm only half sold on the official 9/11 story.

Cobb said...

You know that funny thing I thought was at the end of the video, add a small platoon of dogfaced Russian soldiers shooting down everything in sight in about 15 seconds. Then they radio back to HQ, 'mission accomplished, what's next?'.

It could be Iranians or Australians or basically any country with a regular army, but I like the idea of somewhat bored but competent soldiers.

soul said...


off the top of my head.. could the constant reference to '3' be because this is Blueprint number 3?.

I see it as a brilliant branding concept. So you don't forget, this is a series.

Pandora Bunny said...

That would make sense. I didn't even think about what album it was off of. thnx

Unknown said...

the car wheel close up is interesting.. there are 10 spokes.. 10 is a very powerful number... could be here all day but this link provides a good summary... 'pick one'..

Unknown said...

oh and the jaguar aka the panther is the largest 'cat' in the americas.. and the largest feline predator in the west.. after the lion and the tiger.. of course

the jaguar is also a very powerful symbol...

Marcus DeMaur said...

Wow, I didn't think that there were still people alive who don't understand that we landed on the Moon... six times.

chaunceydevega said...

@Pandora: Good catch on the True Blood reference. On the moon landings, I am on the fence. The point that most befuddles me is that in 2012 (or so)we are supposed to return to the moon once more. It is being sold as some near impossible task that will involve new technology, etc. etc. Assuming the U.S. went to the moon as advertised in the 1960s and 1970s with now decades old technology, why the hell is this so difficult now? Thus my gut that 1) we went and were told to leave by powers unknown or 2) the US and other planets have established bases on the Moon and have never left. For what reason? What are they doing? That is the question.

@Cobb--sounds like you have a 2nd career as a video editor or script writer.

@soul--blueprint 3 and a diamond has 3 sides. 3 is also a powerful number in numberology--i.e. the idea of a "trinity" of forces.

@marci--do you think this is by accident? or is it smart marketing to get folks talking about the layered meanings of the video? is is something more sinister?

@Marcus--see my first response. We also live in a world of open secrets. There are so many "conspiracies" that folks laughed at initially--the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the CIA's connection to crack cocaine importation--as well as heroin during the vietnam war, the lie that was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the massaging of intelligence prior to the Iraq War, etc. etc. etc.--which later turned out to be true. Just something to think about.

Bill the Lizard said...

@Chauncey: Don't tell Buzz Aldrin that you don't believe in the Moon Landings. :P

Seriously though - I think it's really interesting that Jay-Z has been tagged by some people as being either masonic and/or satanic.

I also think it's really interesting that people lump the Masons, satanists and the Illuminati together.

I guess it just goes to show you that what goes on behind closed doors generally scares/fascinates the hell out of people (e.g. Dan Brown).

Honestly, Jay-Z is an extremely smart and savvy businessman. So I'm sure he knows that a little controversy always sells records.

But, removing the monetary factor, I think you could be seeing something similar to what happened with Heavy Metal.

Long before the PMRC fiascos of the 1980s, Heavy Metal bands of the early 1970s (like Black Sabbath, Lucifer's Friend, etc.) attached their music to "left hand path" imagery because it allowed them to break away from an increasily irrelevant Hippie movement (which was in it's death throes after Altamont). Plus, it matched their musical styles (which were generally heavy, dark and politically charged). The fact that it pissed off parents was a bonus.

I think the same thing is at play here. Jay-Z is adopting severe imagry to show that he is "heavy" and relavent. And he's also putting a line in the sand to further seperate him from artists like T-Pain, who use Auto-tune to excess. And, of course, the fact that it pisses off parents is a added bonus. :)

-Bill the Lizard

Unknown said...

@ chauncey..
a happy new year to you...
marketing genius.. plain and simple..
don't know why the symbolism of the wheel stuck..
it could be a bluff. or it could be a double bluff...

i have freemasons in the family, i know modern witches, hell i even know a female priest..

i listen, i read, my mind is fairly open in so much as i respect views unless they are glaringly stupid..

my mother always says...half the power is in the belief... no smoke without fire.. etc etc..

i am wondering why jz (apparently) is taking his wife's surname.. that intrigues me so much more..

Bill the Lizard said...

Not sure if this is relevant, but three parallel lines is an ideogram for "identity" - "a similarity so strong that there is no real difference".

soul said...

@chauncey, A triangle has 3 sides, so does toblerone chocolate.

I think people are severely lazy and would rather believe that luck and voodoo or deals with the devil make you successful because they are not.

There are a million Jay-Z's out there in the hood. The difference between them and jay could be a variety of things but one of the most important things would be skill.

Talent might come naturally, but you have to work at skill.
Forget wanting to die for something..
What are you willing to LIVE for. people die for something everyday.
As gangsta as Jay apparently is, when do you ever hear about him getting messed up in some gun BS.

Diddy had the opp to be bigger than Jay Z, but he lacked bigger vision and dude is has incredibly vision, but he couldn't see himself playing the grown up game, thats why he is on youtube still trying to be relevant to 'the kids'.

Over the years and ocer time despite whatever you hard about Jay-Z, good or bad, onething you also heard about him was his work ethic.

Now it is paying off, people want to act like it is some free gift.

wow!. The mind blows.

chaunceydevega said...

@Bill the Lizard--always on the job!

@Soul--I feel validated that jay is my favorite emcee of the current crop...i too admire his hustle and skill. the business acumen is a result of his effort which is why i always buy his music and see him in concert when i can.

soul said...

then why the goobledigook about 'open secrets' and such.
thats why i said a toblerone choc and a triangle also have 3 sides. what does it matter?

Diamonds do not have 3 sides. If you ever find a 3sided diamond I will personally give you $1000, I don't care how small or large th diamond is.

If you find one I'll pay you the money. No questions asked. my blog link is on my user ID. If you need to find me with proof.