Ravyn Lenae serves us a new vision of the 1950s in her video for “4 Leaf Clover.”
It’s 2019, and in college, my peers and I are no longer using the classic playground game of telephone to tell our crushes we “like” them. Despite this recent maturity, no one seems to have really grown up all that much. Ravyn Lenae, for one, is well aware of how love and dating is still full of games. But in her 1950s inspired video for “4 Leaf Clover” she shows us she’s done messing around, and these games should have been left behind 70 years ago. It’s 2019, and we’re all well on our way to maturity. With that, you’d probably expect the childish games surrounding love to be a thing of the past, left in a time where the best way to tell someone you ‘liked’ them was by playing a game of telephone across an elementary school playground. Alas, it looks like no one is grown up enough for that, and, even now, the games of love are still plentiful. Ravyn Lenae, for one, is well aware of this fact, but also, in her 1950s inspired video for “4 Leaf Clover,” seems to say that, maybe, all these games should have been left in the ’50s.
Her video is reminiscent of the iconic movie Grease. She is pictured in her bedroom, staring into the mirror, her three friends playfully lounging on the bed behind her, each wearing their own frilly pajama set. The scene visually mimics the one in Grease where Sandra Dee smokes her first cigarette, gets her ears pierced, and deals with the turmoils of her attraction to the bad boy. However, this alternative telling paints a picture where Ravyn, in dealing with her own tumultuous love affair, is significantly more autonomous than Sandra Dee. She dominates the bedroom the scene, and when she sees her man kissing a bubblegum-pink adorned woman through the window, she doesn’t panic. Rather, the next morning she appears wearing her own take on Sandra Dee’s classic look: a black, off-the-shoulder shirt, tight pants, and a red handkerchief tied around her neck.
The video shifts to demonstrate what happens when a woman doesn’t accommodate an indecisive boy, subverting Grease’s original plot. Now, Lenae is in a jeep with all her friends and two new, beautiful boys that leave the original love interest dejected and only with his bubblegum, stand-in. Lenae’s car of friends meet his at a red light, and, in another call to the ’50s, the two race down the streets.
While her lyrics repeatedly attest to how badly she wants to be with him—”Hey, we’re meant to be, whoa/One day you will see“—she continues to calmly explore and indulge in the variety of other relationships that surround her. When the cast collectively hits a bar, time is dedicated to highlighting Lenae singing with the support of her female friends. Additionally, she flirts with another man as she makes even a game of pool look seductive; the only thing keeping her man-to-be from looking at her is the literal hand of his pink-clad lady keeping his face towards hers.
Eventually, the video concludes with her singing out of the window that faces her dream man’s house—another romantic trope reclaimed by the video. She wears a notably pink, gorgeous lingerie set, tempting Lacy to return to her. In the closing seconds, he disappears from his own window only to have the video end with the sound of a doorbell ringing and a brief shot of Lenae opening the door to him. She has achieved exactly what she wanted without having to demoralize and alter herself for the man. Her original identity, power, and confidence are what rewarded her, destroying the perpetrations of movies like Grease even as she recreates them.
Watch the video for yourself below, and be prepared to ditch your old favorite romances for the new story Lenae has to tell.