Performer John Duff has released the video for his song “Rich,” a song that walks a line between mocking and celebrating pop culture’s love-hate obsession with those who are already rich and famous.
“The subject matter is nothing new for hip-hop music, but you rarely hear such themes sung so unapologetically in pop music,” Duff says of the song.
A pastiche of images from web culture, the video for “Rich” features internet stars Rebecca More (Cock Destroyer), Justin Jedlica (Human Ken Doll), and Chris Crocker (“Leave Britney Alone”). The video also nods to the Kardashians, Yeezy’s Met Gala ensembles, and Kim Kardashian’s infamous magazine cover.
"I feel like Jewel when she released 'Intuition' in 2003. People didn’t really understand what she was doing then, though … she was holding a mirror to society,” Duff told The Advocate about his song. “Rich" is the same type of commentary, but I think society is ready for it now. I’ve been blown away by how many people recognize and appreciate some of the subtleties I’ve slipped in this video. As an artist, my tongue is lightly in my cheek, but my efforts as a musician are totally genuine. I’m glad people can see that and respect it. It’s an art in itself."
The song was inspired by an off-Broadway parody Duff directed about the Kardashians.
“I remember walking to a performance one day along the Hudson River, I started writing the most obnoxious song I could think of about being famous for being rich. Well, that ended up being the first incarnation of ‘Rich,'" Duff said.
In addition to singing, songwriting, and directing, Duff is also a dancer and choreographer. He makes his film debut in Cubby, out this November.
Watch the video for “Rich” below.