Popscreen: T-Pain


“I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)”

Dir. Seth Levin

Occasionally, a song comes along that precludes most potential mockery. What can one possibly say about “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)” that it doesn’t already say itself? The title explicitly says that it’s a song about poor spelling and strippers: pointing out that it’s stupid or that it objectifies women is like pointing out that “Give Peace a Chance” is anti-war. Whether its goal is admirable or not, this is a song that is exactly what it tries to be.

The video is just what one would expect: T-Pain and friends sing, surrounded by video hos displaying diverse amounts of cleavage. The background changes from screens with the silhouettes of dancers to a dance studio, but oddly never to a strip club. The whole thing is crushingly unoriginal; but after all, the man is n luv wit a stripper! There’s really no way to express this crucial point except through sexy dancing (by the women: nobody wants to see that from the artists).

The video does have one puzzling—I hesitate to say interesting—aspect. It is oddly, and perhaps unintentionally, retro. From the repeating electronica hook remniscent of an early Mario Brothers game, to the occasional dancer who looks like she’s a refugee from the cast of “Fame,” to the close-ups of obsolete mixing consoles, there’s a sense of 80s nostalgia that’s palpable, but not consistent enough to mean anything. Even stranger is that T-Pain was five when the 80s ended, so any nostalgia—intentional or otherwise—was most likely manufactured by VH1.

That aside, the video isn’t original enough, or even racy enough, to be memorable. The only thing that distinguishes it from any other videos featuring rappers and scantily clad women is that they seem topical here. But that doesn’t make it any more entertaining to watch.

—Elisabeth J. Bloomberg