New York-based singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey recently posted the music video for her song “National Anthem,” which features a cameo by up-and-coming Hip Hop artist, A$AP Rocky, also a New York native. The song is the new single from her album, “Born To Die,” which was released back in January of this year and quickly catapulted to the top of many music charts. Del Rey’s music has been noted for its distinctive, cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of American pop culture, particularly that of the 1950s and 1960s.
The music video for “National Anthem” has the internet world buzzing with controversy.
In the video, the duo portray the Kennedy family, with A$AP Rocky portraying former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Del Rey portraying former first lady, Jackie Onassis. The video also doubles as a tribute to sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. Del Rey portrays Monroe at the beginning of the video, reenacting Monroe’s performance at JFK’s birthday gala. This is somewhat controversial as Monroe has been rumored to have had an extramarital affair with JFK.
This is a bold move by two of the most intriguing young artists to come out of New York. A$AP is an African American portraying one of the most important Caucasian figures in American history, and this has caused quite a stir, even evoking strong accusations of racism. I commend Del Rey for taking this risk. She has a vivid imagination and you can see it come to life in all of her videos. This video does an excellent job of capturing the Kennedy family’s famous moments and pictures, all while putting a unique spin on one of the most revered times in U.S. history. Some might call this video racist, but I find it to be a brilliant work of art.