Breakups, Time Travel, and A$AP Rocky

Music Video Analysis: “Sundress” by A$AP Rocky

by Colin Hodgson

Introduction

Even pretty people get their hearts broken. Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye, also known as A$AP Rocky, is no exception. The difference is that while the rest of us mope around, A$AP Rocky drops a music video.

Context

As far back as 2014, there were speculations that A$AP Rocky would sample Tame Impala, but none appeared until the sample of “ Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind? “ in “Sundress” in 2018. The Tame Impala song is about a woman who can’t decide whether to break up with her boyfriend or not, leading him to feel anxious and upset. “Sundress” picks up where the original song left off, after she dumps him, and even includes a direct reference in the line “I see you made up your mind”. Rocky addresses his ex, saying she made a mistake and they were meant to be together. He acknowledges that the breakup hurt him, but he quickly healed and moved on. Now when he sees her with her new man he can only laugh, though whether laughter is a sign of indifference or a coping mechanism is left to the listener’s interpretation.

A$AP Rocky. “Sundress”, RCA, 2018.

Analysis

A$AP Rocky takes a back seat in the music video for “Sundress” as British artist and model Kesewa Aboah takes center stage, portraying Rocky’s ex. As she walks down the street with her new man, she notices someone across the street who mysteriously turns into Rocky. This spurns her to follow him into a club and shoot him, thus creating an explosion of shared memories. The twist comes once she returns to her current boyfriend, who is none other than A$AP Rocky.

Conclusion

Just as “Sundress” is a continuation of the original song “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?”, the music video for “Sundress” extends the narrative to what seems to be the conclusion. When considering all three pieces, the narrative is as follows; a woman is restless in her relationship, frustrating her boyfriend. She eventually leaves him for another man. This forces her ex-boyfriend to move on as well, but she is immediately filled with jealousy and realizes she made a mistake. She travels back to the beginning, while they were still together, and chooses not to break up with him.

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