I could be wrong here, but Hype Williams might have filmed Nicki Minaj atop one of Robert Therrien’s sculptures. It’s kinda hard to tell from this wide shot of Nicki from her “Stupid Hoe” video. But I’d make a Super Bowl sized bet that it is in fact one of Therrien’s. I really don’t want to believe that it is computer generated either. Hype has done his fair share of special effects like in N.E.R.D.’s “Everyone Nose” (Remix), shot entirely on green screen. But having seen Therrien’s “Smoke Signals” exhibit at the Tate Modern in 2009, this scene instantly brought back my goosebumps from walking underneath the monstrous chair and table. I dunno, it would be hard to convince me otherwise.
Hype put the pieces together, connecting Nicki’s childlike demeanor and Strawberry Shortcake styling with the innocence Therrien is known to tap into. “Smoke Signals” is about the perspective of size. You’re reminded of how small you are when you are confronted by a thing you normally take for granted because it weighs less or appears smaller. Respect the architect here for turning the tables. It even looks like Nicki humbles herself too. She took off her pointy heels in the closeup shots. Why would she pose in her frilly socks if the chair was a fake? Therrien’s delicate art could probably buy 888 pairs of those shoes. You know he’s got room for them.