The Plots of Icelandic Rap Videos Explained
To the foreign eye, Icelandic rap videos (like other rap videos) may appear nonsensical or trivial or even incomprehensible: One Icelandic rapper inexplicably elevates two pineapples before shadowboxing, another acquaints a small doppelganger with the intricacies of his daily life.
To the trained observer, however, Icelandic rap videos are rich in subtext, boasting masterful, intriguing story lines that only the most accomplished of connoisseurs can hope to interpret.
In the interest of enlightening foreign viewers (and some oblivious local viewers as well), SKE has taken it upon itself to provide a brief synopsis to some of our favorite Icelandic music videos released in 2017:
Sturla Atlas –Time:
A young man's attempts to forget his ex-girlfriend are made more difficult when she follows him everywhere. Going as far as stalking him to an isolated greenhouse, he teeters on the brink of insanity.
Úlfur Úlfur – Bróðir:
Two Russian brothers visit a geothermal plant in Iceland. Struck by the poetic parallelism of a few pipes, the brothers criticize norms. Later, two geodesic igloos ejaculate magenta smoke.
Herra Hnetusmjör – Ár eftir ár:
After winning a contest, a troubled child gets a makeover by his favorite rapper. Recognizing the child's talent, the rapper decides to groom him
to become his successor. The rapper's plans backfire, however, when the diminutive lookalike becomes more successful than him.
XXX Rottweiler – Kim Jong-Un:
A male midwife assists in the birth of a single mother's son. After the child is born stillborn, the midwife considers venting his anger by smashing a window - but upon catching his handsome reflection in the glass - decides against it. Later, his friend consoles him with a wild night of binge drinking and violence – at one point going as far as dressing up as Fidel Castro to take his friend's mind off the tragedy.
Joey Christ feat. Aron Can, Birnir and Hnetusmjör – Joey Cypher:
Four friends celebrate the boons of Capitalism with a visit to Costco. Together they observe elephants, try out the furniture, wear sunglasses (inside).
Dadykewl – Ástralía:
A spaceman visits Earth in a tinfoil jacket. Misled by the emptiness of the Icelandic wasteland, he prematurely celebrates his easy conquest of the planet with a cool dance.
Icy G & Hlandri – Swervin' (Remix):
Two mechanics take time off work to lounge in a junkyard. Smoke cigarettes. Try on ski masks. Flaunt Fendi handbags.
Reykjavíkurdætur – Kalla mig hvað:
A group of friends attend a party. After one of the friends vomits, the group decides to leave the party together in a show of solidarity against the horrors of nausea.
Smjörvi – SÆTARI SÆTARI:
An adolescent pineapple salesman psyches himself up for a new quarter. Losing himself in the excitement, he accidentally gets "high on his own supply" (ca. 01:21).
Alvia & Safira – FELIS LUNAR:
A young lesbian happens upon a secluded cabin in the woods. Upon discovering another lesbian, mating rituals ensue.
Black Pox – Feluleikur:
A young admirer of palm trees celebrates their existence with passionate hand movements. When the sun sets - the young man laments the palm trees' disappearance.
Birnir – Sama tíma:
Three picturesque employees at a call center, book a meeting with two hotshot salesmen. Upon successful employment, the two salesmen enjoy each other's company in limousines and clubs (the final scene hints at carnal relations between the two salesmen).
Aron Can – Fullir vasar:
Having accepted a ride from his grandmother to the club, a young man suffers a temporary loss of consciousness and later awakens within a luxury apartment. Realizing that he has lost his phone, he proceeds to pantomime numerous phone calls so as to symbolize his regret, at one point becoming emotional in an empty bathtub (02:22).
Birnir – Ekki switcha:
Set in the early '80s, two foreigners inquire as to the identity of a young Icelandic fellow. The Icelandic fellow, construing their ignorance as a slight against his stature, appears on screen to tell them that he is "kind of a big deal." A burly man yanks down his pants to reveal the starry quality of his knees (a symbolic gesture, hinting at the young rappers star-like quality).
Helgi B feat. Helgi Trap & Króli – Á réttum stað:
Two youths console a friend suffering from ambulophobia (fear of walking). As he lounges on various sitting devices (a movable recliner, an exercise bike, etc.), his companions try their best to give him solace. With the aid of his friends, the young ambulophobic musters the courage to stand, and, eventually, to dunk.