She’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and briefly Marilyn Monroe. Lana Del Rey opens the Born to Die “National Anthem” video singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” And who is Mr. President? A$AP Rocky smokes a cigar while toting a gold grill. In a bit of revisionist history LDR and Rocky are modern day Jackie O and JFK with two adorable kids. As Jackie Kennedy LDR reinvents the First Lady as one born in the generation of bling. Hence, “money is the anthem of success.”
If there is one line in the song that sums up the video it’d be: “It’s a love story for the new age/for the six page.” A new age love story is exactly what New York rapper A$AP Rocky and controversial singer Lana Del Rey represent as a presidential couple. Throughout the video they each participate in activities that an actual president and first lady would be condemned for doing: gambling, partying excessively, tattoos and lavish spending. That’s not to say the onscreen couple don’t have their moments of having that official presidential look, because they do. Whether it’s Rocky with a sweater tied around his neck or LDR in long dress wearing a diamond necklace they both channel a level of sophistication. It’s the “trust no one” tattoo scribed on her hand and the huge gold rings on Rocky’s that remind us the new generation will create a new type of history.
At the end the inevitable assassination occurs causing LDR to lament about her love for him. Here it can be implied that “JFK” (Rocky) was assassinated for being unconventional, for pushing the envelope against societal norms. In an interview Rocky said it’ll be 2015 when we “get it.” By get it he’s referring to what the video means. Maybe. What won’t take that long to understand, as they’ve shown through visually beautiful eight minute video, is that America is changing. And it’s not too far fetched that it will look more closely to the scenes in this video than the very rocky past.