Get yer phones out and get onto the dance floor! Major Lazer serves up phone-obsessed freestylers with serious hand-eye coordination, and Beth Ditto returns after the break up of the band Gossip to make the cowboys dance. Also: J-Hud's dance-adjacent, and WizKid's got twerking that doesn't suck.
Major Lazer — "Run Up" (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj)
For Major Lazer's hilarious new video about smartphone ubiquity, everyone's phone is out on the dance floor. Selfie while spinning? Check! Texting while grinding? We can do that! Skype with squats? Hell yeah! Type while twerking? OK, you get the picture. The choreography is mainly freestyle, but there are synchronized twerk-circle routines, too. It's a lot of fun to watch, and thankfully not cynical. We just hope the smartphone equivalent of PETA was on set to make sure no iPhones were injured during the making of this video. Hashtag #BringYourOwnScreenProtector
Jennifer Hudson — "Remember Me"
J-Hud's back, and she's dance...adjacent. In the first single from her upcoming fourth album, Jen's looking terrific and emoting all kinds of serious shizizzle on the empty top floor of a parking garage while ravers lose their slo-mo minds on the dance floor. To add some power to the choruses, the video gives us standalone hip hop, breaking and robotic freestyle dancers as a swerving steady cam closes in on them like a drunk pilot. There is some genuine and fresh dance here. We just wish the director lingered on these shots a little more for us to enjoy. The camera also goes all "Matrix" on us, periodically freezing the dance action like we noticed in Derek Hough's "Ashes of Eden" video last week. J-Hud makes her way through the packed rave floor to telegraph that "feelin' like the only person in a room full of people" emotion. Cheer up, Jen!
WizKid — "Come Closer" ft. Drake
The Nigerian afrobeat star reunites with Drake in his new video after last year's global smash "One Dance." Drizzy's not in the video, but a trio of African female dancers are — and midway through, they delve into a synchronized routine that combines hip hop, tribal, yogic and twerk elements. Presented against stark, graphic colored lighting and inventive styling, the dancing is a step above the stale twerking that's been boring us in too many hip hop videos lately. The dancers each get a turn grinding up against WizKid, too, but it was their group routine that we liked best.
Beth Ditto — "Fire"
The indie rocker Beth Ditto is coming out with her first solo LP since the breakup of her band Gossip last year, and the video's just dropped. We open in a honky tonk, and the deja vu to Little Mix's track from two weeks ago hit us hard. Then again, gender equality and all that, so when a hot cowboy does an absurd Riverdance leap onto the bar and begins stomping on shot glasses in moves that feel vaguely hackeysackesque, we didn't mind. Our dollar bills came out at the 2-minute mark, though, because that's when these rough and tough cowbears grab their buckles, turn their caps backwards and begin some serious, synchronized two-step action in tight pyramid formation. A change in gender shouldn't make as much difference as it does. Oh, but it does! The non-camp aesthetics put dance authenticity in the spotlight and let objectification take the back seat. Turnabout's better than fair play. It's hot!