Top Taiwanese actor/pop star Wilber Pan recently released a music video in which he collaborated with Nichkhun from Kpop group 2PM. The two stars purportedly met and bonded at a concert some time ago, and have been eager to do a music video together ever since (they also mention in the behind-the-scenes video at the bottom of this entry that they were neighbors in LA at one point).
The music video begins with Wilber Pan staring moodily into space, then (equally moodily) rapping in the middle of a crowd of people. It becomes apparent that he’s a DJ at a club. A friend (Nichkhun) comes in to see him, and both men notice a beautiful girl dancing in the crowd. Wilber encourages Nick to approach her, and he goes and dances with her briefly. The two men then settle down for a drink, and playfully provoke some nearby patrons. They promptly get into a fight and are thrown out of the club. The girl follows them outside and gives them towels to clean themselves up. She focuses all her attention on Nick, however, and as Wilber’s face falls it’s revealed in flashback that he had also approached her and talked to her about music. Back in the club (later that night I’m assuming), she texts both of them, and they realize that she is toying with them. As she waits for them in the middle of the crowd, they walk up to her and right past her without a word, and Nichkhun throws an arm over Wilber’s shoulder. The music video ends on a last shot of Wilber, as he turns and looks back.
The theme is simple and the storytelling is straightforward, but the theme of male solidarity is one that’s not often covered in music videos, and it’s effective. It’s rather endearing to see this top pop star for once not make a music video about a hot girl at a club, but a music video about brotherhood, essentially (and a little bit of heartbreak). From the way they grin at each other with masculine satisfaction after the fight to the way they reject the girl and stand together, the heart of the video is their enjoyment of each other’s company.
It is also, of course, about male-female relationships and the cycle of attraction-followed-by-hurt. This is about how women treat men badly sometimes, but given how many female music videos and songs cover how men are scum and treat women badly (just ask Rihanna) it seems only fair that now and then the men get to take their turn. The music video end with the regret and flicker of hurt on Wilber’s face as he looks back at her, and it’s a poignant moment.
Nichkhun and Wilber have an easy camaraderie which seems reflective of their real-life relationship. Wilber has a history of working with Korean stars; he’s also worked with Lee Da Hae and Lee Hyori in the past.
The costuming is fantastic; both Nick and Wilber are dressed stylishly but simply, with a minimalism that accentuates their looks while giving them a clean-cut, nice-boy vibe. Watching this, I couldn’t help but appreciate the lack of over-the-top makeup (which tends to characterize Japanese music videos) and overly sexualized dancing (many Kpop music videos, especially those set in a club). The editing is sharp and the song itself (always the most important element) is fast-paced and hook-laden; I always enjoy songs that blend rapping with melodic choruses (Big Bang excels at this).
Check out a behind-the-scenes video in which both speak in (articulate!) English.