(Ed Note: Jack White is headlining the Firefly Music Festival this Friday in Dover, DE. Get your tickets here now!)
Looking half-rebel outlaw, half-grim reaper (in a much more expensive suit), stands Jack White with his signature axe in hand ready to melt your face with his expert fingers donned in more rings than I own, playing chord progressions I ain’t even heard before in the video for “Freedom At 21” (off of Blunderbuss on Third Man Records). This is a White unfamiliar to all of us, more cock-sure and full of swagger than his White Stripes and Dead Weather eras combined. He’s got something to say and he’s not afraid to turn up the dial to make sure you hear it.
Enlisting the help of video legend, Hype Williams, was an odd but deliberate choice by White, who often boasts about his love for hip-hop mavericks like Jay-Z and Kanye West. The video is glossy, scandalous, but most of all it’s entertaining even if it is a bit cliche (bad girl cop, fast cars, Cyanotype profile shots while shredding…). What catches me off guard is how much White is trying to portray himself as, dare I say, a rapper. With sunglasses hiding his eyes and punctuated hand gestures/head movements, it’s as if the blood of Biggie Smalls is running through his veins. While Jack isn’t opposed to exploiting the female form in his videos (remember that one with Kate Moss? Damn.), it is the first one where we see him interacting so brazenly with the vixen antagonist.
It kinda makes me wonder who the inspiration was… because she is one very, very lucky girl to get White, who’s notoriously reserved, to be so bold. (Could it be?)