Last month Will.i.am, the hip-hop bohemian-turned-dancehall-music-captain, unveiled his video for #thatPOWER (embedding disabled), a track from his new album #willpower. It was shot mostly in Japan earlier this year and features will.i.am and his posse dancing through some recognizable and some more obscure architectural landmarks. Oh, and it also features a hologram of Justin Bieber.
Will.i.am dancing under the seizure-inducing kaleidoscope mirrors of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando.
Will.i.am dancing in front of Florian Claar’s “Fragment No.5” at Tokyo Midtown
Will.i.am dancing in front of Tokyo Big Sight, Japan’s largest convention center.
Will.i.am dancing in front of a ubiquitous Japanese street lined with pubs.
Will.i.am dancing in front of “The Eye of Shinjuku,” created by Yoshihiko Miyashita in 1969.
Seasoned YouTube connoisseurs will recognize the slow-motion dancing style to be that of mixed-martial-artist-turned-buddhist-internet-dancing-sensation Genki Sudo. It’s certainly a sign of the times when hip hop artists are turning to Asians for dance lessons.
When the video premiered, many were quick to jump the gun, assuming that Genki Sudo and his dance unit World Order had indeed given lessons, collaborating with the U.S. pop stars on their dance moves. No one believed that will.i.am had the audacity and gall to not only appropriate Sudo’s moves but to perform them in Japan. However, a statement by the group denied all rumors of any prior agreement, prompting publications like tvgroove.com to edit their article and issue an apology. So I guess will.i.am did indeed have the audacity and gall?
In a tweet, Sudo also wrote, “It looks a lot like World Order (LOL). Thanks for using, Justin & Will…”