Little plastic boxes, pre-Iphone, R&B&B, 1995 – 2005.

It’s funny to watch how cellphones evolve in pop and R&B videos through time. In ninetees cellphones often play a main role in a plot, an essential drama element. That triggers in to two different scenarios.

1st, as a sign of perdition. People throwing cellphones out of windows, destroying or cursing them. Phones are starters of fights and confusions because of constant urge to be reachable.
2nd scenario displays phones as an indicator of high level of coolness. Will Smith is dancing by the pool, sipping a drink, calling friends to come over with his new cool flip phone and it’s nothing but great.

As the time goes by, cellphones in music videos naturally start to stand for a different function: product placement. Owning a cellphone becomes a reality for every modern person. The cellphone becomes advertisement and shows what you don’t have yet but Fergie already does. It is not that much about the plot anymore. The new Nokia has a full colour display.

Everybody nonstop attached to their phones, facing technological turnover in personal communication. R&B videos from the turn of the millennium work as
a naive prediction of the near future.

Terezie Stindlova