Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay on Logan Roy’s rap and how the HBO series Succession weaponizes music.
We live in a divided world… But we can all agree that the theme song to Succession (composed by Nicholas Britell) absolutely rules. It’s grand and full of plunky 808s, and it feels like being stuck on a malfunctioning roller coaster. And that’s precisely what watching Succession feels like: a stomach-churning but somehow exhilarating ride through the family drama of America’s corporation-owning 1%.
But setting its theme song aside, one scene in Succession emerges as the musical thesis of the HBO series. The eighth episode of Season 2,”Dundee,” is centered around a celebration honoring aging patriarch Logan Roy’s 50 years running Waystar Royco. Much of the episode’s tension focuses on Logan’s big announcement: a speech in which he (played by Brian Cox) will publically name his titular successor. While Logan’s daughter, Shiv (Sarah Snook), and his rumored favorite and possible romantic partner, Rhea (Holly Hunter), duke it out, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) continues his downward spiral.
Logan’s second-oldest son has reached a low point. And if there were any illusions about the mental state of this broken shell of a man, he proceeds to grab the mic and rap about how awesome his abusive dad is.
Kendal’s “L to the OG” rap is one of the most memorable moments in the show. And there are a couple of wrinkles that make it a moment well-worth dog-earing. As the video essay below highlights, the rap is more than just an embarrassing performance with a catchy beat. It’s a mortifying character beat for Kendall as well as a devastating assessment of the Roy family’s self-image.
Watch “L to the OG: How Succession Weaponizes Music”:
Who made this?
This video essay on how Succession weaponizes music is by The Premise. The video essay channel is run by Chris Angkico and places an emphasis on soundtracks and scores. You can find The Premise on YouTube here. And you can find them on Letterboxd here.
More videos like this
- For another taste of The Premise, here’s their video essay on Ludwig Goransson‘s score for Creed.
- In a similar vein, here’s their video essay on what makes Daft Punk‘s score for Tron: Legacy so great.
- Here is the very funny Demi Adejuyigbe with his take on the rejected lyrics to Succession‘s theme song.
- And here is The Queue favorite Karsten Runquist on why Succession deserves the hype.
- Here’s the always-eloquent Nerdwriter1 on the deeper meaning of Succession‘s blunt dialogue and how the show creates meaning in empty words.
- You can’t really talk about the music of Succession without mentioning its theme song. So here’s a Vanity Fair video with composer and pianist Nicholas Britell, in which he breaks down just that.
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