One might hope that “Move That Dope” ft. Pusha T and Pharrell Williams might be some blow-by-blow episode or tale detailing a particular movement of dope that stands out as triumphant or tragic. That video would be pretty fun, full of action-almost an adventure. But when Future issues the hook “Move that dope / They move that dope, they move that dope,” he doesn’t say it like an order or a question, but as a statement of fact.
The song and subsequent video represent more of a reflection on the alleged drug dealing pasts of Future and Pusha T. Therefore, the song has a throwback feel to it with what seems like an archaic beat and a head-drumming hook. The video responds with Ronald Reagan masks and a souped-up, old-school ride. It seemingly unveils shady flashbacks to a life of dealing dope and driving away from the cops, but the video mostly focuses on the performances of its three rappers as they each take a crack at the souped-up beat.
They do fine. Future goes a bit overboard with the hand motions but sets a good tone for the piece as the first up to bat. Pusha T seems to live for these scenarios wherein he’s not on the center stage, and he can bring up his actual dope-dealing history. Clad in his self-styled “Gandalf hat and weird ass clothes,” Pharrell proves to be more than a competent rapper, sidestepping into issues like drone warfare and overconsumption. He may forever be known for “Happy” but seems plenty happy here.
But here’s the problem. Despite three solid performances, the video suffers from a lack of ownership. Although his name is on it, it’s not really Future’s song. It’s a wandering, orphaned music video.