Hip-hop fans might not be the state’s target market for promoting Hawaii tourism, but a music video for popular artist LL Cool J is nonetheless filling their heads with visions of palm trees and black-sand beaches. The video is for the aptly-named single “Paradise,” off LL’s latest album ‘X‘ (or ‘10‘). Costarring rising R&B star Amerie and featuring Gabrielle Union, the video opens with sweeping aerial shots of Maui’s gorgeous shores and mountains, and is packed from start to finish with lush tropical imagery that particularly in the deep of winter would make anyone forest-green with envy.
“Doing that video was like a straight-up fantasy,” LL said in an interview with MTV News (and republished by sister station VH-1). “We had villas on the beach with no television… It was crazy, the look of it, the vibe of it.”
“Black sand beaches, waterfalls it’s a whole ‘nother thing,” he said.
LL spends much of the video hip-deep at the base of a waterfall, and he and his costars travel to perhaps a dozen picturesque locales (at one point on horseback), including a sea cave, deep inside a rain forest, and under crystal blue waters. A canoe and a plumeria flower make cameo appearances.
“It has a little story in it: me and the young lady, I’m taking her all throughout paradise,” LL said. “It’s the ultimate vacation and
we’re having a lot of fun.”
The video has been in rotation on MTV for more than seven weeks, and the album it promotes has lingered on the Billboard charts, rising as high as the number two spot.