Earlier this morning, I was in need of a quick laugh so I found myself searching through my YouTube and Dailymotion favorites for the AT&T commercial about the office taco party. While searching, I realized that I had a music video in my playlist that I hadn’t seen in many years. I clicked on that instead and taken back to a part of my childhood. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the Kelis “Get Along With You” music video.
How I first came across this moment? It was early in the Summer of 2000 that I first came across the music video. I was a month removed from finishing my freshman year of high school and I found myself at home under the cool of the air conditioning on a late June afternoon…watching Cita’s World on BET to escape the sweltering heat in Birmingham. When the video came on, it kicked off with the track’s beat and Kelis just standing in some room wearing all black. She opened the midriff of the dress and everything shifted into this world that looked like Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Kelis was suspended in air throughout a majority of the video and as she was singing, her breath was orange. Throughout the video, it was as if everywhere she went and everything she encountered was brought back to life by her presence. Near the end of the video, she was a doll that began disassembling itself. As she did that, the light on the inside of her came out and lit up the entire little world and the video ended with her closing back the midriff.
What it meant to me then? In the immediate moment, I dug the video. After all, at that point in time, “Get Along With You” was my favorite track off one of my favorite albums—her debut, Kaleidoscope. This particular video was very different from what I saw in “Caught Out There” and “Good Stuff”. It seemed a lot more serious…showed a lot more compassion. It resonated deeply with me at the time because of what I was going through in my personal life. A few weeks earlier, school let out for the summer and a girl that rode the same bus as me—one that I had been crushing on the last 2 months of school—disappeared before I got a chance to get her number or tell her I liked her. The “Get Along With You” track kinda related to me on that and the video just emphasized it further.
What it means to me now? It’s been nearly half my life since I first saw this video and it’s been a good 3-4 years since I last saw it at all. It doesn’t mean a whole lot to me today except that it represents a part of my childhood…the Summer of 2000, when I spent many days starting my Windows Media Player library by downloading tracks I heard on the radio or saw on MTV, BET, and The Box. The video, in my opinion, represents the decline in Kelis’ career as the albums and videos she released after “Get Along With You” were too commercialized for my taste and a total departure from the style she brought forth on her debut album and the never-released Wanderland.