Machine Gun Del Rey

“Boy look at you lookin’ at me/I know you know how I feel,” the seemingly sentimental opening to “High By The Beach,” has suddenly taken on an entirely new (and sinister) meaning in the wake of Lana Del Rey lending a visual accompaniment to the second single from Honeymoon. The video for the latest track is a scathing portrayal about how LDR really feels about her paparazzi-peppered life. Although this is not an avant-garde attitude or video concept (see: J. Lo’s “Jenny From the Block,” Britney Spears’ “Everytime,” Lindsay Lohan’s “Rumors,” Madonna’s “Drowned World/Substitute For Love” or Sean Penn writing FUCK OFF in the sand at his 1985 wedding to Madonna), there’s never been one in which the celebrity in question empowers herself by putting the kibosh on any further perturbation.

Dancing for her captor
Dancing for her captor
And yes, there is something darker and sadder to LDR’s rendering of a life plagued by the media. At the beginning of the video, a looming helicopter above her remotely located home starts out far away as she looks back at it from the top floor of her beach-overlooking fortress. She meanders downstairs, leafs disinterestedly through a celebrity rag (featuring her own image) and then goes to the window to see the helicopter is within inches of touching the surface of the edifice.

Soon, she’s running frantically down the stairs to get to the beach, with the music abruptly stopping after the line, “Don’t need your money, money to get me what I want.” It is now only the crashing of the waves that fill the silence as Del Rey pulls a guitar case out from behind the rocks and runs back upstairs with it. Her urgent eagerness to open the case soon offers us a glimpse at the machine gun she takes out in lieu of a guitar. One shot at the helicopter obliterates it from existence. It is at this point that LDR speaks the now all too appropriate lyric, “Everyone can start again, not through love but through revenge.” The video then cuts to the waves washing against the rocks, as though also cleansing Del Rey of a life of harassment and scrutiny. It’s all very “Bitch Better Have My Money,” but more impacting because of this one moment of violence (as opposed to the many that punctuate the aforementioned) that leads to rebirth and freedom.

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