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Recently Rapper Denzel Curry released a video for his song "Clout Cobain" Which has racked up over 5 million views and has created a lot of buzz amongst pretty much everyone because of its symbolism and the candidness of his lyrics. So, without further ado, let's get into this analysis
The video takes place in a circus setting where we see Denzel with clown makeup being announced to come onstage. The first thing I noticed was that he is bound by chains and is only released when he starts to perform. This probably signifies him being held captive by his management/label. The first line of the song begins with him saying, "I just wanna feel myself, You want me to kill myself." In this line, we already see that he is saying that he just wants to be set free and be his own artist. His label and/or fans expect a lot from him and its starting to take its toll. The first verse is where I think the most meaningful part of the song comes in. The lyrics provided by Genius.com go as follows:
Dry tears with a dollar bill, I'm out tryna make a mill', oh
Why you wanna take my soul? I'm yelling out "hell no!"
I can't even trust my friends, most of them might be foes
Watch these hoes when they say they want a lot of me
I don't know who's the one that wanna plot on me.
So, to break this verse down line by line, he is saying in the first line that he's not sure how he's supposed to feel because while he is becoming successful. It's almost impossible to feel happy because his label is basically telling him what to do and his fans are just seeing an image rather than what is actually going on. I think that particular line could also be referring to what people are seeing on social media and that they are not seeing the whole truth.
In the next line couple of lines, he is saying how he is just trying to be successful but his label or the industry itself wants him to sell his soul in order to control him but he is trying to defy them by saying "hell no!" When talking about not trusting his friends, I think what happens to a lot of celebrities is that they make a lot of fake friends who just want to be around them for the sole purpose that they can get "clout" just by hanging around them.
This also ties into the next line because the women who claim they want him probably only say so because of his fame. The last line is a little more difficult for me to decipher but I believe he is trying to decide who he can trust and who is plotting to gain from his prominence. During the verse, we see the ringmaster sneakily take out dollar bill printed cloths from his back pocket, which speaks volumes about how music management is looking to profit from the artists they are representing.
In the next part of the video, it shows people in line waiting to be served Xanax and lean as well as getting tattoos on their faces. Many artists out there talk about these drugs in their songs and are getting tattoos and doing crazy stuff, which the people are buying into and I think the imagery being shown here portrays that quite well.
The next key moment is when the ringmaster tells him to dance and it just goes to show just how controlled he is. The remainder of the video shows Denzel pulling out a gun he uses to film what looks to be an Instagram live video and behind him we see the audience laughing at this. Denzel's face soon changes and it looks as though he is getting closer and closer to his breaking point until finally he shoots himself in the head and the crowd gasps in shock and soon yelling can be heard.
The last image of the video shows a balloon which pops and the video ends. Denzel Curry has shown us in his own creative way not only the paranoia and unhappiness that comes along with fame but he's also given us a visual representation of how labels work to force their artists to do certain things to stay popular and put an immense amount of pressure on them. Thanks for your reading and I hope you enjoyed reading my insight on "Clout Cobain".