Collaborations between artists go back decades. While some involve a semblance of parity in terms of the individual effort involved, such as Queen and David Bowie’s enduring “Under Pressure,” Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s “Say, Say, Say,” or Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day,” others drift into the “featuring” camp, meaning the supporting player appears on a bridge or some smaller, recurring part. Examples include Snoop Dogg lazily mumbling “west coast” with Katy Perry, Taylor Bennet helping out James the Mormon, Michael Jackson wondering wazz up with Eddie Murphy, or Lil Wayne’s inability to cease partying with Weezer. It’s a mixed bag.
Alex Boyé’s new video for the single “Keep Your Head up to the Sky” is decidedly in the latter’s camp. Billed as “featuring Dennis Rodman,” the video is essentially Boyé realizing that there’s always money in the banana stand, traipsing about Newport Beach’s Balboa Island and the Fun Zone, including some daring shots on a ferris wheel. And the song itself is pretty good.
The problem is the “featuring” of Dennis Rodman—while technically correct—occurs after the music video proper fades to black and Boyé has a chance encounter with Rodman at a hot brunch spot, surrounded by puzzled onlookers. Rodman plays no role in the song. He does not sing nor rap nor dance. He doesn’t even walk around the Fun Zone in solidarity with Boyé. He is just there, the erstwhile cultural ambassador to North Korea, having a laugh with Alex before diving into some bananas foster and hitting up Nieman’s.
Therefore, the song itself has no additional Rodman value. The video wouldn’t even be “featuring” Dennis Rodman had the Newport Beach resident not manifested himself at some point during shooting. Unlike his eponymous debut with Mansionz earlier this year, Rodman plays no formal role. Happenstance doth not a featured appearance make. The only way this could be less of a “feature” is if Boyé spotted Rodman from his car and snapped some footage.
After a somewhat controversial pinch hit at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Pioneer Day concert over the weekend, it’s a pity Boyé published a new video “featuring” someone when that really isn’t the case. Look, we get it. SEO matters. The Rodman name matters. It’s all good synergy. But it’s also false synergy and will leave fans wondering throughout the video where the star of Double Team is.
You can watch the video/cameo below.