Young Dolph just released the video to “Slave Owner” off his 2018 EP N***as Get Shot Everyday, and it is inspired by 1970s exploitation films.
The hat tips to grindhouse films of yesteryear are largely relegated to the crackling title cards and scratchy Dolby Stereo logo in the beginning, with a voiceover narration thrown in to round things out. What this video is most inspired by is Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-centric spaghetti western Django Unchained, replete with a house negro character clearly based on Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal, and slave owners crackling their whips throughout.
Besides that, you’ve got your half-naked women, luxury cars, and mansions. With a title like “Slave Owner,” there are several references to how modern day record deals and studio executives often pimp out their artists. As it stands, it’s pretty solid—though the production value sometimes makes you wonder if it’s rooted in a lack of effort, or in the obvious homage to the DIY aesthetic of the exploitation films it’s based on.
“If you can only see one film this year…make sure it’s…Young Dolph! Unsigned Slave Owner,” the introductory voiceover says in that gravelly voice we’re surely all familiar with in a post-Grindhouse world. The video is fairly comedic, too, with the Sam Jackson-inspired character befuddled at the chaotic situations, and haggling with a literal slave owner who urges the house negro to convince Dolph to take a 360 deal.
“I got one word: 360,” he says. “We’ll give him a little, at first.”
In the end, it seems like the main theme here is not to get taken advantage of by modern day slave owners—those who control artists and unfairly take a lot of their money. “You think we call him massa ‘cause he white,” the narrator ponders. “No…we call him massa ‘cause he got the massa plan. And when he put down the deal, you sign that bad boy for life.”
Dolph has also got some bars for the opioid-inspired mumble rappers of today. "He like poppin' pills, I like countin' mills," he raps. Watch out, now.