The right stuff? (Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
They've already brought a new child into the world and purchased it a $614,000 rocking horse made of gold, so it's only natural that pop culture's favorite 1 percenters now plan to ascend into suborbital space aboard Virgin Galactic and film the mother of all music videos. Or at least that's what record executives are thinking, according to MTV News.
Needless to say, this is an excellent idea. I'm game for any convergence of music and outer space, be it a killer DJ mix or a just a cool Boston album cover. Numerous music videos have already created the illusion of pop stars and rap artists in orbit, so it only seems right that space tourism kick in to give us the authentic experience.
Hey, and the tickets are only $200,000 a pop — cheaper than a newborn's rocking horse.
But what might that authentic experience consist of? I'm sure everyone has visions of Jay-Z rapping cool and collected as he floats around the SpaceShipTwo cabin while Beyoncé sparkles at his side, singing and looking like a million bucks. But two more probable alternatives come to mind:
Possibility one: Instead of spitting rhymes, Jay-Z vomits up his foie gras terrine with pickled grapes due to a case of space adaptation syndrome, which even medicated astronauts experience to varying degrees. And will Beyoncé feel up to singing with a migraine? Luckily, red wine seems to help, but let's not kid ourselves about the realities of terrestrial digestion systems in even a plush extraterrestrial environment.
Possibility two: If we're to go by what astronauts and Virgin Galactic personnel have to say about suborbital flight, Jay-Z and Beyoncé may find themselves too distracted by the transcendent experience playing out all around them. For starters, who in their right mind spends their brief venture into space staring into a digital camera? Look out the window! And second, how might a taste of the so-called overview effect change their understanding of the universe and humanity's place amid the stars? Might a cosmically reborn Jay-Z and Beyoncé return to Earth? How might they express it in their music?
Naturally, I'm hoping for option two. I'd also be game if Jay took Kanye instead.
We'll see what comes together on this, but let's face it: If they actually do shoot a "real" space music video in space, there's no way they'll beat the "fake" space video for Billy Ocean's "Lover Boy."
Originally posted at HSW: Space Music: Jay-Z and Beyoncé To Film Music Video in Orbit