While the subject matter of Schoolboy Q’s new, Travis Scott-featuring single “Chopstix” would appear to lend itself more to a night of exotic dancers than the classical kind, the LA native uses the song’s new music video to subvert those expectations with one heck of a swerve. Rather than a debauched celebration of hedonism, Schoolboy takes a toned-down approach with ballet dancers, an orchestra, and a choir, performing the song for an audience of well-heeled fans in an elegant theater.
Directed by Nabil, the video is shot in black and white, with the concert attendees decked out in their Sunday best. Even Travis sports a coat with tails as he conducts the symphony orchestra alongside Q and his elaborate top hat and showman’s jacket. The choir and symphony seem to embellish bits of the song, adding some depth to Travis’ crooning and elevating it beyond the lightweight subject matter, without getting too pretentious.
If the video seems like a step down from Schoolboy’s usual high energy fare, such as the video for “Numb Numb Juice” or “Dope Dealer,” it’s probably more of a hint of a new musical direction for the now 32-year-old rapper and father. It could be that he’s getting grown and showing off some more refined tastes — or maybe he’s just lulling us into a false sense of security before he gets back to business as usual on the new album he’s been teasing lately. We’ll have to wait and see.