Latto "Sunday Service": Breaking Down The References

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AUSTIN, TEXAS - JULY 29: Latto performs onstage during Sips & Sounds Summer Festival at Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park on July 29, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)
Latto's "Sunday Service" music video has several homages and references in it that enhance the video's impact.

Latto’s latest single “Sunday Service” has a lot involved with it. Mainly, audiences viewed it as her response track to Ice Spice’s “Think U The Sh*t (Fart).” The two artists have been throwing shade at each other in a variety of ways for the past few months. Listeners have mostly been drawing their own conclusions about what triggered this feud, especially since it appeared to bubble from nowhere. However, on the day the music video dropped, Latto cleared the air on Instagram Live, claiming the song was not a diss. Still, many feel as though this supposed beef is worth tuning into if the ladies keep it in the booth.

In 2024, virality is the name of the game when it comes to promotion and both artists took advantage of this in different ways. Ice Spice’s initial meme-based promo, unfortunately, only brought more scrutiny to her career. However, it's clear that the song still has 2024 in a chokehold, thanks to platforms like TikTok. Meanwhile, Latto’s already had listeners in high anticipation from what many thought was the cover art alone. It featured her in a room with pictures from other women in the rap game from all generations, including a few ladies whom she supposedly has issues with. However, their eyes had black bars over them and Latto’s did too.

Latto Channels H.E.R

When an artist pays homage to another artist, audiences see it as a sign of respect. Latto’s “Sunday Service” music video has references to other artists and the media world overall. The hook of Latto’s “Sunday Service” features the lines “I don't sing R&B but, b*tch, I'm really her” in a creative reference to the R&B singer H.E.R. In the music video, there’s a scene where Latto’s hair is styled like hers and she’s also sporting some circular shades. This is H.E.R's signature look, especially with the sunglasses that she once wore to conceal her identity and make people focus on her music. Now, the shades have become a part of her identity. Latto's homage shows that she has love for artists that aren't in her genre of music but she admires them still. This quick but effective visual reference helped enhance the creativity of Latto’s lyrics.

Latto Channels Missy Elliott

One of the most prominent artists Latto references in her music video for “Sunday Service” is Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. In one scene, she wears a yellow leather jacket while holding a flip phone. Many artists in the early 2000s wore jackets like this from a brand called Avirex. During this moment, she raps to a fisheye camera lens, a perspective viewers have seen many times in videos from those iconic rappers. Longtime fans know this is a tried-and-true technique from director Hype Williams. He used this effect in several of his music videos, including Missy Elliott's classic "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)."

During the fisheye lens scene, Latto was in front of an obvious green screen. This choice doubled down on the nostalgic aspects. Many videos from that era look dated in comparison to today's technology but it shows how far we have come. Viewers also noticed that Latto's name and the name of the song were in the bottom left corner of the screen during this scene. This was common for music videos throughout the early 2000s, especially ones that played on music video countdown shows.

Latto References Belly

Latto also paid homage to the iconic opening scene from the Hype Williams directed film Belly. The deep rich blue lighting and glowing eyes are unmistakable. Latto recreates the exact look in her music video and even replicates the slow-motion camera movement. Multiple artists have referenced this scene across the years since the film’s release in 1998. Hype Williams is an all-time legend in directing music videos. It's a full-circle moment for his star-studded film to be referenced in music videos too. Once again, Latto has referenced the greats that paved the way for her.

Latto Stands Out

Listeners have praised Latto’s “Sunday Service” for its bars and music video. In terms of her beef with Ice Spice, they have concluded this track was miles above the one from the “Deli” rapper. Latto and her team seem committed to showcasing her at the highest level possible and the intentionality with the promo and music video for this track are a testament to that. Knowing where you come from is the only way to know where you’re going and the homage that was shown in this video shows that Latto fully understands that. 

What did you think of the video for "Sunday Service?" Let us know in the comments section.

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