As the music video for 170 cmunfolds, directed by none other than the artist himself, Paal Dabba, it becomes abundantly clear that this is no ordinary visual accompaniment to a song. It's a journey into the core of viral culture, a fusion of languages, music genres, and cultural elements that come together.
From the very first frame, the visual finesse of the video is striking. The choreography is nothing short of vibrancy, with dancers wearing lungi, moving in harmony crafting this visual masterwork. The VFX sequences add an extra layer of swell, turning scenes into surreal spectacles.
Beneath the striking visuals, 170 CM is a commentary on the nature of viral culture and the often misguided pursuits of artists in their thirst for fame. The opening narration serves as a thought-provoking prologue, urging viewers to reflect on the ephemeral nature of online popularity. The subsequent video game-inspired confrontation is a powerful metaphor for the battles artists face in the digital arena, where the battle for recognition can sometimes feel like a life-or-death struggle.
The lyrics of the song provide a narrative of personal growth and transformation. We follow the journey of a protagonist who starts as a relative unknown, only to skyrocket to notoriety after dropping a hit track. Along the way, the lyrics convey his encounter with financial hardships, run-ins with loan sharks, and the intricate dance of pursuing education amidst life's challenges. The verses are punctuated with playful wordplay and rhymes.
Cultural references to traditional South Indian foods and a multilingual approach highlight the song's global perspective. Lines like "I'll smash your face into 'pongal'" exemplify the confident and self-assured tone that permeates the lyrics, with phrases that infuse a sense of light-heartedness and humor into the narrative.
This video pays homage to the burgeoning Tamil rap movement. The experimental fusion of Tamil lyrics with global influences is a testament to the genre's versatility and its power to transcend linguistic boundaries. Dabba's skill in incorporating Tamil verses into the narrative fabric is speaks to the genre's evolving influence in contemporary music.
As the video hurtles towards its climax, a pivotal revelation comes to light, casting a new perspective on the initial conflict. What initially appears to be a heated altercation, sparked by the singer's allegedly inappropriate gaze, takes a surprising turn.
Think Indie channel, which released the music video, provides a platform for independent artists to thrive. By prioritising non-film talents, the channel creates a much-needed space for artists to portray their creativity outside the confines of mainstream cinema.
In 170 cm, Dabba has not only created a music video but a visual and auditory experience that surpasses most conventional boundaries and expectations. Watching this 5-minute music video, we are left with a lingering sense of awe and admiration for its intricate layers.
You can watch the music video below.
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