Call her Game Genie. Rye Rye cracks video game after video game in the new video for feather-light electro-pop earworm “Boom Boom,” from the Baltimore rapper-singer’s long-awaited Go! Pop! Bang! (due out May 15). It’s a winning approach for the song, which already resembles video game music in its Vengaboys-derived hi-NRG simplicity.
Where Lana Del Rey prefers to watch her man play “Video Games,” Rye Rye would rather take over. And where recent video game release Street Fighter X Tekken combines two rival fighting game series, the video for “Boom Boom” mashes up elements from old-school games of all stripes, with the colorfully coiffed popster always as the star. Directed by Georgie Greville and Geremie Jasper of Legs Media (Selena Gomez, Florence and the Machine, Goldfrapp), the free-wheeling clip turns a Street Fighter style setup into a dancing competition, in between a giant, swirling chess board, a Mario-esque underwater world of laser-equipped dolphins, and, inevitably, shirtless dudes in Hammer pants.
There’s also a bonus round! In all, it’s a fantastically elaborate visual extravaganza that might leave Rye Rye stuck with those Nicki Minaj comparisons — only this time, in a positive way (they’re both boundary-pushing pop figures with a flair for visual spectacle), rather than merely a reductive one (they’re both female rappers). And on further listens, the track basically erases whatever you might have felt about the Vengaboys’ original and turns into a Robyn song, sexually confident and decked out in neon for a night of whatever. Enter your initials, Rye Rye; this video should be one of the year’s all-time top scorers.