Haters gonna hate – that’s a universal truism that no one’s immune to. No matter what you do or how you do it, there’ll always be an unsubtle group of haters and trolls who’ll endeavour to bring you down. But not if you’re beyond-bulletproof; not if you’re on top of your game the way nobody else is. Then, the haters are the butt of your joke. And this is exactly happens in MEAN‘s video for the emphatically titled single, “Trollin'”, which features Australian rapper Judo.
The troll is a lingerer. S/he hovers over you like a pestilential fly. It’s no arcane secret that Made In Singapore hip-hop is at a creative peak right now, and that MEAN is one of its most interesting and uncompromising voices. If you need a testimony of that, peep his recent EP By Any Means. Because of its cast-iron bars and icy, menacing beats, the EP is essentially a death sentence for all of MEAN’s haters and trolls. And for the single and its accompanying video, shot in graffiti-bedecked Sydney, he’s enlisted the likewise gifted Judo to help him spread his gospel.
Except, there’s something that MEAN doesn’t know – at least in the context of the video. And it’s that someone who claims to have your back may just be, well, trollin’.
It’s a clear enough conclusion to arrive at in the video and IRL but what’s noteworthy in the clip is how that reality – and the tension it creates – is so playfully and stylishly executed: There’s the Balenciaga-and-Craig Green-clad MEAN and the drab, tortured troll concealing his identity under a Batman mask (hint hint).
Who’s really having the last laugh? The answer is obvious.