What "the Future" Will Look Like According to Big Budget Music Videos, 1995-2005
When Michael and Janet Jackson released "Scream" in 1995, the accompanying music video cost $7 million dollars (but... worth it). For a full decade after, musicians looking to convey "edgy futurism" climbed aboard a knockoff minimalist laser tube in the stars and found the anti-gravity racquetball courts with which they're all invariably equipped.
- •Michael Jackson ft. Janet Jackson "Scream"I'm incredulous that video game technology wouldn't surpass Pong by the time humans are cultivating bonsai in hermetic laser tubes, but clearly craftsmen of the future devote their energies to outerwear. (It's working)
- •Jamiroquai, "Virtual Insanity""Virtual Insanity" isn't quite the aesthetic retread many of these amount to, but its unfeeling dystopian living room should be wedged between zen gardens on the mothership.
- •Lenny Kravitz, "If You Can't Say No"The nonspecific concept of 'surveillance' seems to pose a major existential threat to everyone in this future; one solution might be making video cameras less nimble and airborne.
- •Busta Rhymes ft. Janet, "What's It Gonna Be?"Janet had lost her surname by the time she returned to the mothership in 1998... but she DID locate the mercury hydro-spa. In the future, by the way, all liquid will be replaced with... liquid metallics. Just looks fucking better.
- •TLC, "No Scrubs"Apparently all anyone will do in the future is appear on various screens, which makes sense.
- •Brandy, "What About Us"Ever the trailblazer, Brandy gamely leads us outside in this future and--good news--water and trees still exist! Unfortunately, buildings are made of people.
- •O-Town, "Liquid Dream"This is not the hydro-spa!! Don't touch the metal liquid!
- •Aaliyah, "More Than a Woman"There's a counterintuitive amount of gears and pistons in this post-post-industrial era. (Though perhaps I could have picked literally any other Aaliyah video)
- •Kylie Minogue, "Can't Get You Out of My Head"Per all of these, the future's non-negotiable uniform will be "shiny PVC pants and belly tops," so it's a little surprising they let Kylie hang around the light-up corridors. ...Snoods are pretty directional, though, so maybe there's hope for future people who don't want to spend the first half of every star date doing fucking crunches.
- •Jessica Simpson, "Irresistible"The philosophical death of these videos arrived as Jessica Simpson's Blade Runner on South Beach.
- •Jennifer Lopez, "Play"In 2001, Lopez took a break from insisting on her humility in song to visit dormant Scream Space. Strikingly, status hinges on access in her future just as our present so otherwise unremarkable raves take place in impressively inconvenient locations. Her set designers seems to have forgotten the bonsai, though.