So, in case you didn't know, Trey Songz is quite popular with women. I KNOW! Crazy, right? Maybe it was the model face or the way the audience loses its mind whenever he like, flexes half an ab at a concert (not to mention his disdain for shirts) but like, we never knew.
Just kidding, Songzyuuuuup's ladies'-manness is the primary defining aspect of his persona, but even in the tenth year of his career, he felt he had to double down: his new, interactive video for "Touchin, Lovin" is a very creative application of HTML 5 but not so much in the way of imagery, graphics, or whatever vague storyline it's proffering. In it, Songz—shirtless, of course— entertains a coterie of gorgeous, modelesque admirers against a backdrop of fire OR ice. "OR": its interactivity renders it a choose-your-own-adventure music video, of sorts, but your choices for adventure are pretty slim in that they are limited to deciding which beautiful woman Songz should serenade and/or rub, and whether he will do so in flames or among snow. It doesn't even possess enough depth to spark any non-boring, non-staid thoughts about the male gaze, whether on the models in the video or on Songz (shout out to the dudes in the stadium screaming when he takes off his shirt). MORE LIKE SongZZZyup AMIRITE. At least the first-ever choose-your-own-adventure video, Chairlift's 2012 "Met Before," had a narrative.
(Do all the interactive clicking here.)
It's pretty disappointing because of the technology and because "Touchin, Lovin" is a mega-hit, and a good song off a terrific album (2014's Trigga, highly recommended), even if it is about the most predictable concept ever (meeting, clubbing, boning). But of course, a little over half its hit factor is due to a verse by Nicki Minaj, who turned in one of her most women-on-top verses of the year (and whose every collabo with Trey Songz is pure gold). She raps, "Real niggas let real bitches come first/ And real bitches been bad bitches from birth/ Uh, k-k-kiss him when he comin/ M-m-make more money last year than Mister Drummond." Money, power, respect, et cetera!
Accordingly, her appearance in the "Touchin, Lovin" video is much more powerful than Mr. Songz's, who actually seems to be flailing in the presence of so many beautiful and mysterious women even though he claims to have "invented sex" both here and elsewhere. Perhaps that is a result of the indecisiveness fostered by the ability of you, the viewer, to choose Trey's paramour for him? Like yo Trigga, make up your own damn mind. Regardless, in Minaj's presence, Trey has the most real-person moment in the entire video, when he's goofing and cheesing behind her after her cyclone of a verse. It's cute, more of this Trey please.
Also, does Minaj's verse here cancel out stupid "Only"? (Song, not video.) Can they negate each other and give us a blank slate? Can we just have "Trini Dem Girls" right now please? Perhaps collaborator Lunchmoney Lewis's "Lunchy Culture" will give her a new proscenium for her oeuvre.
Image via screengrab.