Shortie: "Tints" Analysis


At first glance, "Tints" is a song about keeping a low profile while getting some head from a girl in the driver’s seat. But when you take a look at the video and listen a bit more to the lyrics, it’s about much more than that. Rather its about all of the things people hide.

Let’s dive deeper.

The first single from Anderson .Paak’s Oxnard dropped on October 4, 2018, followed by an incredibly colorful and vibrant music video. Anderson commented on his writing process and ideas behind the track on Music Choice saying “[it's about] the idea of...keepin your tints up, so people think you're just smiling and nothing's going on in your head. But you don't necessarily want them to be able to read want to be able to see them before they see you.” Window tints provide coverage for people and allow them to see out of the car without necessarily allowing people to see inside of it. .Paak discusses using the tints to keep things from other people.

The music video is incredibly colorful and  full of expression and symbolism (which isn't out of the ordinary for Anderson .Paak). It places .Paak and Kendrick Lamar in a number of different situations that expose the secrets of their characters. Each character in the music video has something to hide from the preacher’s daughter to the preacher himself.

The song is even a bit meta when considering .Paak himself and the additional vocals on the track. .Paak and his band, The Free Nationals, are known for wearing sunglasses constantly, even indoors. This isn’t necessarily bizarre when considering lots of artists do the same thing, but it is interesting when considering the song itself. Similarly, Tayla Parx and Syd (from The Internet and Odd Future) contribute quite a bit to the outro on both the song and the video. Tayla Parx is the only one credited with singing along with Anderson on the outro, but in the video Syd appears to be singing as well. However, neither of them are featured artists.

Here are some other "secrets" that are exposed in the video.

.Paak in a white man’s trunk: The man flashes his NRA badge when he is pulled over by a police officer, but does not expose the .Paak in his trunk or the reason that he is in there.

Worker stealing money from register: .Paak plays a janitor (or maybe a custodian?) that is cleaning a diner after hours, but he begins stealing money from the register. However, the joke's on him because the windows are quite large and they aren't tinted at all.

Support group leader doing drugs: This secret is the deepest and most contemplative to me. Just because the group leader is doing drugs himself, does that make him "bad"? After all, he is still encouraging other members of the group to retain their sobriety. Just because he is no longer sober, does that take away the legitimacy he has?

I didn't go through all of the secrets, but every time I watch the video, I see something new that I didn't notice before. The replay value of the music video is extremely high, which is a testament to how much work went into it.

I'm a huge fan of Anderson .Paak (check out my Oxnard review here), but I'm especially a huge fan of his music videos. They are always layered and incorporate a number of stories in one video. I can't wait to listen to his upcoming Ventura project and to see all of the visuals that he has in store.