Music Video Relapse: "Tik Tok" (2009) by Ke$ha

Posted by Adam Fairholm on January 9, 2014 in Music Video Relapse

Staff Post


One of the interesting things about running this website is that we sometimes get retweeted by artists and directors when we tweet about new music videos (The night Rebecca Black followed us will remain one of our proudest moments).

Last weekend, though, Ke$ha decided to RT our new music video tweeting account @newmusicvideo post about her new video for "Dirty Love". Since Ke$ha very rarely retweets anyone at all, our tweet got a lot of attention and people started RTing and favoriting our original tweet. For a few days we got to stare into the abyss that is Ke$ha-related twitter accounts (there are hundreds of them, including accounts with names like "NOTICE ME KE$SHA!!!!"). It was terrifying and glorious all at the same time.

Anyways, it got me thinking about our good friend Ms. Ke$ha, and it brought me back to her first music video - 2009's "Tik Tok," directed by Syndrome. Let's take a look!

As far as music videos go, "Tik Tok" is definitely an introductory and tone-setting video. Before this video, all anyone really had heard from Ke$ha was her backup vocal bit for "Right Round" by Flo Rida, and even then nobody really noted her name. So this video was really her introduction into the music world - and it was a world that was already extremely saturated with young female pop stars - it had to really establish her image and differentiate her from the Lady Gagas and Katy Perrys of the world.

Her initial image styling turned out to be pretty brilliant. Although a lot of people derisively called her "baby gaga," Ke$ha was presented as a more of less approachable party girl who was wearing ripped jeans, a ripped t-shirt, and glitter (lots of glitter). It was relatively against the tide, and it turns out there was room on the pop scene for a party girl who brushes her teeth with brand name whiskey.

"Tik Tok" is basically a commercial for her initial styling, mostly consisting of shots of her acting out waking up in a random house and finding her way to the next party. The plot doesn't really matter - what matters is that we get a good, long look at Ms. Ke$ha.

Compared to her later outings, Ke$ha actually looks pretty natural here. Around the time this video came out she had a habit of describing her fashion as making random pieces of clothing work based on how they're worn, and that is reflected here. I think that's what initially endeared her to the wide audience she enjoyed in 2009-2011 - before wading into higher concept pieces, she seemed like someone you might know.

Syndrome does a great job of turning what could have been a really dull video into something that stands out for its vibrant colors. They also added a lot of fun elements, like the fact that Ke$ha ostensibly wandered into this poor family's house and slept in their bathtub. If she was drunk enough to not know she was breaking into someone's house, she looks pretty good the next morning, all things considered. Little visual touches like the gold bicycle really help this video along.

By far my favorite part of this video, though, is Ke$ha's attempt at acting when we first see her - peering over the lip of the bathtubs she slept in. She gives it her best "uhh so hungover where am I" squinty eyes and commits to the part. If she was a professional actor it'd be an issue, but here it's just another part of her personality that comes through so well in this video. But why would she use Jack Daniels? I'd say drink the JD and get some, like, Evan Williams or something and use that for hygiene.

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

More Music Video Relapse:

Most of the time on Music Video Relapse I am writing about a music video that is a classic for a good reason - either being iconic or just fondly remembered. Sometimes I write about a music video that was release relatively recently but I think needs a second look… Read More

As we've covered on the blog before, ABBA has an interesting history with music videos, using the form back in the late 1970s to spread their music to overseas markets. The videos, while pretty primitive, are well-done for their time, and they are almost all on their ABBA Vevo account,… Read More

When a video gets pulled off of YouTube, they usually tell you who made them do it. Usually it's a record label, but sometimes it's a random name. For instance, Iggy Azalea used to have a video called "Pu$$y," but it now says "This video is no longer available because… Read More

People whose jobs revolve around throwaway "viral" stories hit pay dirt last week when someone noticed that a radio station in LA was playing Nelly's 2002 hit "Hot In Herre" over and over again. This is apparently relatively standard procedure for radio stations undergoing a format change (it has since… Read More

IMVDb Blog

Site Sponsors

Add Your Company

RSS Icon Subscribe with RSS

Search the Blog

Recent Posts



Content on the IMVDb blog is ©2012-2018 IMVDb and FilmedInsert, LLC. All Rights Reserved.