In the music video of will.i.am and Nicki Minaj’s song “Check it Out,” word and image work together to transcend a cultural barrier. The MV begins with a Korean MC introducing the song to an utterly emotionless audience dressed in black. All the members of the audience sport black sunglasses, adding even more of a robotic feeling to them. The music has a consistent, abrupt rhythm that shows through the audience and performer’s movements. Will.i.am and Nicki Minaj do robotic dances and the audience all move together as one entity like a robotic army.
As will.i.am and Nicki Minaj perform, large 3D words in Korean flash about the screen. The Korean text translates English lyrics that are enunciated at the end of certain verses. Although the Korean audience may not understand exactly what will.i.am and Nicki Minaj are singing, they probably can get the gist of it by reading the flying words. The 3D words match in color with Nicki Minaj’s costumes.
Bright colored and strangely structured costumes attract the audience’s attention and their gazes are directed at the performers. Nicki Minaj fashions skin-colored clothing, a mushroom-shaped hat attached to her head. She wears shocking pink lipstick with matching pink eye-shadow and pink nail polish. These colors match with some of the Korean text, and the audience still remains interested and captivated by drawing connections between the costumes and words.
The content of “Check it Out” proves that design is a worldwide phenomenon. Although one may produce something in one country, that doesn’t mean that that one country must be the sole users of that design.