Bad Meets Evil’s “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars has already shown its strength at radio, landing in the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, and now it should get an extra boost from a strong video.

The clip opens with Bruno Mars, looking even more like Richie Valens than usual, at an upright piano, gently warbling about wanting to see a “skyful” of lighters.  It cuts quickly to Evil, aka Eminem, who’s struggling to write a letter. He’s got a stack of CDs beside him (between the lighters theme, which, of course, have given way to cell phones being raised at concerts, and the CDs, I felt like I was back in the early ‘90s).

Eminem —who headlined the V Festival in England this past weekend, where he reunited with another duet partner, Rihanna, for "Love The Way You Lie" —begins rapping about being an underdog in the way he’s done tons of times before-- but despite all his success, those raps are the ones that still resonate with me versus the cartoon-y, woman-hating, braggart. But how bad can things really be when you have a big, if messy, apartment that has a trap door that leads to catacombs right below.

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So with torch (i.e., a “lighter,” get it?) in hand, he starts wandering through the caverns. Also in the underground (is this “Miserables?”) is Bad, aka Royce da 5’9”, who is in a holding cell. He’s recalling his bad days, when T-Pain didn’t want to work with him, but now he’s driving a car the parks itself. Plus, he’s got an escape hatch in his cell. Sweet!  In a move straight out of “The Shawshank Redemption” (or “Raising Arizona” depending upon your frame of reference), Bad makes a jail break through a tunnel, emerging into freedom.  Evil, other folks, and lots and lots of “lighters” (which actually look like white paper bags with candles in them) fill the air.  I kind of expected them to break into “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” from the classic  Coca Cola commercial from the ‘70s at this point.

The song is one of the strongest off “Bad Meets Evils: The Sequel,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year, and it gets an equally strong video. Though some purists have bagged on Em and Royce for going soft in the tune and pandering to the pop base by including Mars, both the song and the video work.

What do you think?