Apple Watch wearers can breathe a sigh of relief: a viral music video by the artist known as J Staxx—or, perhaps more aptly, Riff Raff: Dollar Tree Edition—has established the hoverboard as the official tech-related fuckboy accouterment. The hoverboard, the misnomer and two-wheeled motorized scooter notorious for accelerating obesity and spontaneously combusting beneath riders’ feet, is the ostensible offspring of skateboards and Segways. Sadly for both hoverboards and the tasteless unfortunates who buy them, the act of hoverboarding retains none of the punk grit of skate culture, but all of the lame absurdity of Segway police work.
Hoverboards are used as casual transportation devices and can be found scootering passengers to and from college classes at a modest walking pace, side-tackling Mike Tyson and lying haphazardly on the floor of your weed dealer’s living room.
Let the record show that as of November 26, 2015, hoverboard is to Millennial douche as fedora is to Neckbeard. And no one illustrates this reality more clearly than J Staxx, the only Saskatchewan-based rapper-cum-human skidmark the world should ever know.
Given the hoverboard’s popularity over the past several months and the woefully low standards as to what qualifies as music to some people, it should come as no surprise that there is now an ode to the contraption available for public consumption via Youtube.
“My Hoverboard” is two minutes and forty seconds of uninspired nonsense written and performed by J Staxx, a Los Angeles self-deportee now residing in Saskatoon. I use the word “written” as loosely as possible, because the beat belongs to the rapper Migos (it’s a redub of “Versace”) and the lyrics belong in the garbage. This is probably the only song on Youtube that does not have an accompanying lyric video, and that is because first of all, J Staxx fans probably can’t operate computers and secondly, the song has less poetic complexity than Subway’s “Five Dollar Footlong” jingle. Literally every line ends in the word “hoverboard.”
If you search the web for the words to “My Hoverboard,” you get exactly zero relevant results, which should be interpreted as a well-deserved finger-wagging from the good people at Google. The song by itself is entirely unimpressive; the real grotesque magic happens in the music video, which epitomizes all the bad parts of hip-hop music. Shameless product placement and misogyny are put on stark display in an absurd masquerade of lean-addled degeneracy.
Product placement is nothing new in rap videos. Whether it’s pouring a sponsored liquor, wearing a specific brand of clothing or flashing new tech gadgets, rappers promoting brands is as integral to the rap-video checklist as ubiquitous twerking and cloud-blowing. While efforts to camouflage their promotions are usually thin, in most videos there is at least more going on to distract from the advertising.
J Staxx flips the script and makes a rap video that is a big long commercial for the latest in teen RC toys. He even zealously plugs Trekboard, his hoverboard brand of choice, in all caps in the video description on Youtube. Despite the lengthy ad slot, J Staxx does little to promote the Trekboard’s versatility as a transportation device. While homophonically enthusiastic about being “never bored,” the rapper mentions relatively few activities that can be performed on the hoverboard.
Furthermore, everything he does mention seems narrowly confined to late-nite hoodrat shenanigans: hoverboarding while fucking hoes, sipping codeine and turning 360 degrees on one foot as a form of interpretive dance.
This leaves plenty of questions unanswered with regard to what you’re really getting when you invest in the product, which, at a starting price of around $500, for most people demands more consideration than how best to soil one’s dignity on a Friday night.
What of the hoverboard’s functionality as a commuting instrument for the urban professional? What is the safety or legality of operating a hoverboard under the influence? Those one-footed 360s were captured in slow-motion—how does the Trekboard handle curves in real time? J Staxx emphasizes that “no fat hoes” are allowed on his hoverboard, but fails to provide an explanation as to why.
What is the average weight of a fat hoe, and how does this compare to the average hoverboard’s weight limit? Could J Staxx’s mother, for instance, operate a hoverboard?
These are the sort of specs one would expect to be discussed in a commercial of this length. J Staxx even admits in the middle of his rap to dropping another half a grand to “buy another board” after the first one was mysteriously broken (too many fat hoes riding it?), which is an odd thing to mention in an otherwise stellar review. It unavoidably conjures up doubt regarding the Trekboard’s durability.
After watching the video, hoverboards do not seem all that practical for people interested in things beyond streamlining the mechanics of consorting with tawdry women, and even that activity seems perilous for the device itself. Drawing from J Staxx’s demonstration of coital sloth, it’s conceivable that, with some tweaking, the hoverboard could have a future as an ergonomic aid to geriatric sex. If that is the case, Trekboard may have a bit of rebranding to do.
That being said, there is also a good deal of confusion as to the legitimacy of J Staxx’s relationship with Trekboard Inc. Upon visiting Trekboard’s website, you’ll find no mention of J Staxx and his doltish homage. Nor do you see either depictions of scantily clad women or suggestions of a collaboration with the fashion label Gucci, both of which appear in no short supply in J Staxx’s video.
In sum, there is no evidence of an official sponsorship of the rapper by the hoverboard company. This begs the question: is the video really about endorsing hoverboards, or is it sneaky product placement for Saskatoonian bikini waxing services? In any event, all hoverboard enthusiasts should henceforth be judged douchey until proven innocent via official word from Trekboard Inc on the profile of the desired hoverboard customer. Speaking of cosmetic epilation, J Staxx deserves further criticism for the sexual politics in “My Hoverboard,” which are abjectly cliché. Emulating hip-hop artists before him, J Staxx conforms to the standard alpha-chauvinist protocol in objectifying the female dancers in the video.
Wearing only socks, underwear, and enough makeup to fuel RuPaul’s Drag Race for the next twelve seasons, the women appear complicit in a stereotypically patriarchal exhibition. They flaunt their hairless buttholes for the camera, solemnly salute the institution of skankdom and exaggerate maternal behavior toward a swaddled Trekboard.
By now, it should be well understood that a woman’s choice of dress, speech and behavior is entirely her prerogative; conversely, judgment as to why anyone would choose to represent themselves as the stylistic rendering of such an abhorrent and talentless character as J Staxx is fully legitimate.
At one point, J Staxx symbolically reduces the dancers to a twerking pyramid of ass. Though many can attest to the difficulty of twerking in any position, nothing about J Staxx’s depiction of women is empowering, thought-provoking or even novel. The only brief instance of counter-normative sexual behavior occurs when J Staxx appears to lick his own semen off of someone’s thong-clad derriere. But against the generally misogynistic backdrop of the entire video, this act comes off as confusing and gross instead of sex-positive or edgy.
The saddest part about the “My Hoverboard” video is that almost all of its participants look perfectly content to be in it. That is, except the dancer in blue, who toward the end of the video captures collective audience sentiment by serving J Staxx a withering sneer as she spoons him a hearty bowl of Canadian dollars and milk.
Why this shot, like the allusion to hoverboard malfunction, was included in the video deeply confuses me, though it does support my hypothesis that this video is J Staxx’s self-deprecating, albeit explicit, audition tape for the Canadian equivalent of Saturday Night Live.
If I could summarize my feelings toward J Staxx in a single gif, it would comprise those three seconds of pure, unadulterated shade thrown at him by Blue Girl. Blue Girl is Saskatchewan’s belated answer to the subversive backup dancer culture of Left Shark, and the only winner in this video, audience included.