Video Review: Joey B – Sunshine

After some 6 months of silence, rapper Joey B returns to our screen/radio with new visuals/song for ‘Sunshine’, a movie themed, dark video with many high points.

Let’s all agree on something: Joey B is on a different wave. He is actually running a course many aren’t walking. It’s this: he’s not dropping singles before visuals. He’s releasing both at the same time. The last he did was with 89, his nostalgia-provoking tune/video. (Read our review here).

His new release, ‘Sunshine’ can be described in only positive terms: Brilliant. Creative. Cinematic. Magnificent. With Prince Dovlo at the helm as director along with Joey B, the two create their own version of ‘Magnificent Seven’-the movie. On the song/video, Joey B is lamenting about staying successful, the many frustrating obstacles hindering his dream: enviness and vile jealousy that plagues the industry (the whole industry be fake). He asks God to save him and grant him strength: ‘Yesu gyimi na me br3/work too hard I just dey stress/At times I wan’ shun then bed’, he sing-raps over sobering trap beat punctuated by piano chords. He continues on the hook: ain’t no Sunshine/ain’t no rain/all I wanna do is reign’. 

Sunshine is heavily influenced by Spaghetti Western movie themes. The difference here is that Joey B (aka Charlie Kwame Ranger) playing the lead role as a bounty hunter. Highlights of the video include the brilliant use of light. The video is mostly shot in dark, with bits of silhouette scenes infused in it. The only source of light are the flickers of fire ostensibly to warm themselves. The costumes are also vintage (cowboy apparels) as seen in movies like Django, Magnificent Seven. Even the lettering used to announce the cast is Quintin Tarantino/Django-esque. And what is a Spaghetti Western-inspired video without a horse? (dark horse for that matter).

A few symbolism can be gleaned from the video as well. The passing train scene with it’s blaring horn at the beginning of the video suggest the bold entry of Joey B, with the intention of wrecking damage to all who stand his way. (Joey B has been  quiet after 89). The lynching scene could mean hanging his troubles including haters. The ‘darkness’ of the video carries a multi-layered theme: the dark state of the music scene with him as the bringer of light or sunshine. It could also mean he makes his entry during the dark hours so his enemies won’t see him coming.

It’s impressionable to see Prince Dovlo stepping away from the often glitzy videos we have come to associate him with to delivering this dark video for Joey B. The concept won’t come as a surprise knowing that Prince Dovlo is himself a movie director.

Joey B has been annoyingly quiet for such a long while. The last time he released any material was some 6 months ago (89 video/song). For the many wondering what he’s up to, Sunshine is the answer. He’s been working. Joey B is here, putting some ‘Sunshine’ into our lives. The only reservation about this video is simply that, it’s damn too short and the song is a step less than the visuals.

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2 comments

  1. Obi · May 26

    This isn’t Joey’s best singing. Since all that we have on this record is singing, this isn’t Joey’s best work. It’s entirely possible that he is not capable of hitting such high notes so they had to go with synthesizing. But this isn’t the pleasurable singing we’ve come to enjoy from Joey on songs like “Cigarette”. The piano at the heart of a trap beat makes it special and I’m sad to not see this beat killed.
    The video is a cinematic beauty and the cowboy theme definitely can’t be missed. It’s great that Ghanaian artistes and video directors work hard on providing some dynamism in an industry wrought with shaking botosses or tables strewn with “baddles”. That said, the director — to me at least — fails to nail a single idea across the entire 2:45 minutes. It’s almost as if they badly wanted to use a cowboy theme but didn’t quite have the story to go with it. I saw your point on bounty hunting but yeh, nah I didn’t get that.
    Good job overall though. 6/10 for the music. 7/10 for the video

    • CulArtBlog · May 26

      Your observation about no definite story around which they wove the video sounds legit. I saw it as he here to sanitize the scene – the lynching bit. The singing was poor. It’s not the kind of Joey B song to get radio spins. It’s an easy to forget song. The video is good. Thanks for your thoughts Obi.

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