Come With Me – Puff Daddy feat. Jimmy Page
Link to video!
Since someone needs to be rummaging through the bowels of music video history it should be me. I have nothing better to do with my time, right? So I will take the time to re-watch old videos and review them respectfully (just kidding, I will hate them all). For my first video examination, I chose the classic Godzilla-themed video titled Come With Me.
Dateline: New York City, 1998. A young rapper is laying in bed with his lady love, between silk sheets and about to make some serious, sexy whoppie. But wait! It was all a dream! Mr. Puff Daddy is really alone and New York is going to Hell.
Seconds later, a bus flies through his window. After seeing his condo destroyed, Puff is so infuriated that he…raps half-baked lyrics into the night sky. Huh. I would probably call 911 but maybe that’s just me.
Daddy, dressed to kill in his once-standard black leather coat and pants, is flung into an elevator that is speeding to the roof for some odd reason. And he is flinging his hands around like he might win something. After being thrown through the roof Puff Daddy transforms into doves. Doves! The symbol of peace! What better representation of peace than a man arrested for pistol whipping someone in a night club?
As Daddy falls, we get the meat of the song, the part everyone remembers. He sings. Well, he kind of sings. It’s mostly quiet talking. He sounds like a stalker. And the lyrics here, as in the rest of the song, are beyond terrible. Heartbroken, he claims that he cries “tears of sorrow”. Wow, Daddy, where did you get that one? A 12-year-old poet?
This leads to a very odd, very white performance in Times Square. Fireworks, orchestras, helicopters. Is this some sort of weird bait for the monster who destroyed Puff Daddy’s apartment? I don’t know but it looks damn expensive. As the song reaches a crescendo, Puff Daddy pumps his fists like he’s drowning. And I think he throws a peace sign up once. The song becomes a mess, a massive wall of sound penetrating my brain like a knife. Jimmy Page’s image is broadcast on giant televisions and he doesn’t seem too pleased to be there. Puff Daddy, as always, is cool as a cucumber, except for singing about how he’s going to “fucking bite” somebody. Wait a second…maybe this song was written from the perspective of Godzilla. He is the one wanting to fucking bite somebody, he is the one with the itchy trigger finger and he is the one crying tears of sorrow. Hmmm, that just made this song a million times better.
The song ends with Daddy finally confronting Godzilla, who presumably arrived so he could beg Puff Daddy to quit butchering Led Zeppelin. Instead, Puff Daddy turns his back on the beast, his shirt flying open in the wind. Take that, giant monster! Puff Daddy respects no one except his own damn self! And Godzilla, the greatest CG monster of 1998, is left alone, roaring in anger.
I remember this video well. It is a prime example of too much money and effort put into a weak concept. Clips from the film are thrown throughout the seven (!!) minutes, showing where the true interests lie. It’s all about money. And much like the film that they were made for, this song and video have a lot of money in them and they try really hard, but ultimately feel ridiculous and overdone. And I’m still confused about that elevator. Why was it going so quickly?
But there was a time when Puff Daddy was they go-to guy when it came to over-the-top videos. Remember that one where he was Christ? Or the Running Man rip-off? How about the countless videos where he was roaming in a desert? What about the fish-eye lens? Puff Daddy had it all. Is Mr. Sean Combs truly the best at blockbuster music videos? In the words of the great poet himself: Uh huh, yeah.