Hook Needs Answers

Mano Sundaresan gives a quick look at the Riverside rapper's newest single and video.
By    August 5, 2020

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Mano Sundaresan‘s MS Paint works could be hung at the MoMA.

Hook sees through the BS. Her world of neon scribbles and blunt truths is really ours stripped of the hand-waving and discursive fluff. People don’t actually change, love is the stuff of grown adults and Disney movies, and we’re all just kids in tight clothes and loose-fitting skin.

“Answer,” the sad, gorgeous cut about missed calls and mind games off Hook’s tape Ily2hook, didn’t need a video. The song is vivid as is, bearing the texture of a mood ring. Puffs of color burst from every line. Hues of love and longing and envy and willpower wash out MexikoDro’s pillowy instrumental. It opens with a deranged voicemail from an ex — “Pick up, crazy girl!” — that digs into Hook’s consciousness and prompts her to call him back. Of course, he doesn’t answer — Hook probably knew it’d go that way — but what else was she supposed to do? These are the Post-Breakup Olympics, the twisted games that confuse and paralyze. “Answer” teeters at the edge of a crevice, the sound of an unwanted memory cornering you.

Somehow, the music video captures that feeling too. Directed by Hook and Bobby Astro, it’s an eye-popping masterpiece, landing somewhere between Hype Williams’s wide-angle vibrance and a Microsoft Paint canvas. It’s a slow crawl, the camera slowly panning right to reveal a whole army of Hooks stumbling across the screen. One is sitting on a storm cloud. Another has a chunky phone to her ear, tears streaming down her face. Two more are playing angel and devil on the shoulders of a third. And then, for the last verse, Hook stands alone, face painted like a rainbow, surrounded by anonymous hands taunting her with phones. It looks like a ritual, or a performance, and maybe that’s all this situation is.

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