It’s a terrible remix of one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all times. The little mini-film itself is ruined by the fact that it keeps cutting to some random Black guy, presumably a rapper or DJ, for no apparent reason.
But if you could take the mini-film and put it to the original Sympathy for the Devil song, it would make one of the best old fashioned MTV music videos of all time.
It’s classic Christianity but from a Black/People of Color perspective. Let’s go through the symbolism:
1. The Devil is a curly haired, snarl-lipped Jew.
2. The first temptation – nice Preppy Church Black girl is dating Hipster Christian White boy, the devil turns into a sexy Barrio Mestizo and she can’t help herself. The Black actress and the video editor do a great job here, she can’t help putting the straw in her mouth and pursing her lips, then catches herself and gives a “nice girl” smile to White Hipster boy before he realizes she’s flirting behind his back.
3. Second temptation: Usury. Nice, trying to be responsible Black guy is about to settle for the affordable but reliable car, until the car salesman offers him a loan – at interest of course – so he can get himself in a pimpin’ ride.
4. Respectable White nerdy businessman puts his wedding ring in his pocket to follow in the young Russian-looking stripper – bonus points for the Devil turning into the sexy woman, adds a whole new level of evil – then the Devil slips the wedding ring out of the man’s pocket while he’s in the throes of sexual arousal. We can see him distraught as he realizes what he’s done.
5. The Devil turns into a Mexican drug lord and delivers a briefcase full of money to the old White politician. In another excellent edit, you can see the respectable light-skinned Hispanic businessman looking embarrassed and uncomfortable with his racial/ethnic counterpart walks in the room clearly fulfilling the stereotype. The young Irish politician, Fanning, sees the older politician taking the money, smiles with almost innocent realization that this is just “how it’s done” and shakes hands with the devil to step in line as the new politician backed by drug kingpins.
This is all very classic Christian and it’s also great folk art (the video, not the shitty remix.)
Now compare and contrast what Whites put out: shitty derivative “Satanic heavy metal” that is essentially easy listening Musak compared to, say, AC/DC, and not even as transgressive as a classic song like Highway to Hell was way back in the 1970s.
Scandinavian Black Metal has actually put out “Satanic” music that is far less scandalous than the actual Catholic Church they are trying to parody. Even with a chorus singing “Hail Satan” it doesn’t have the deep sense of dread that the Neptunes video has. While adultery, temptation, usury and drug gangs are real evils – real Satanism – even the censored titties of the Ghost video aren’t sexy, much less scandalous, and the black and white horror “goth” style video as a stand-in for evil was kind of hokey way back during the hey days of horror. Omen little Antichrist boy was creepy, but in Ghost’s video it’s just a symbol, just a stand in. Young innocent-looking European children juxtaposed with some weather and gothic cathedrals = creepy Satanic music?
Even Ghost’s Tried-And-True attempt at the old formula is more self-parody than anything genuinely creepy, more 80s satan-schlock than real horror. So, super-pretty teenage girl on the cusp of sexuality is sort of “goth” and “misunderstood” so hold hands with the devil who is the only one that understands her, and she the only one that understands him. It’s West Side Story plus the Addam’s Family.
White people can’t be convincingly scary anymore because they stopped believing in Satan.