This week, Mick Jenkins released the official video for single ‘Dehydration’, a cut from his The Water[s] mixtape (which is quite possibly the best release this year, we might add). Jenkins has so far in his career been quite experimental with his videos (check out the video for ‘Jazz‘, which is our fav so far), and tends to put in more effort to his visuals than your average artist. In the ‘Dehydration’ video, Jenkins addresses the scourge of gun-related gang violence that affects many of America’s urban centres, and which is particularly prevalent in Mick’s hometown of Chicago. The video features Jenkins and friends being targeted by a drive by shooting, the effects of this, and the realisation of Jenkins that retaliatory actions simply advance the cycle of violence. It’s a worthy effort, and we applaud Mick Jenkins for spreading positive truths to a community that is plagued by crime and fake macho bravado. Here’s what Jenkins had to say about the video himself:
‘Myself and Nathan Smith, who’s the director of the video, we came up with a rough idea and carved it out. The idea behind “Dehydration” is a person who is thirsty. The character I play is someone who’s caught between the gang world and the chiller aspect of just really hanging out and being with friends. In that situation your torn between to retaliate or do something better and get out of the lifestyle; that’s the dichotomy being shown in that video’
‘Couple of Stacks’ came, it surprised and disgusted, and then it left. Dizzee Rascal only uploaded his Halloween themed gore-fest of a video for four days or so before he removed it, never to be officially released to the public again (though someone must have recorded it somewhere). Luckily, for those who missed it, he has promptly followed this with his video for ‘Pagans’. This video is just as badass and almost as gory as the other one, except this time Dizzee is a martial arts master who can pop watermelons with energy blasts, rather than a supernatural serial killer with a penchant for knives. The director is the same from the last video, and we’re glad to see Dizzee is carving his own route and producing cool adventure based videos, which somehow work really well with his aggressive new grime bangers. Dizzee is doing his own weird thing at the moment, which we’re really feeling.
In series of concept videos that started with his video for RAW, following the criminal antics of his group of friends in his hood, ‘Slangin’ is an expression of what it’s like to live the life of a drug dealer, with both the ups and downs. In an area where ‘most kids round here they don’t make it past 21’, the narrative mostly follows the advice of Wara’s older brother – ‘My brother always told me don’t you dare tuck in your shirt/ that’s what girls do and I don’t see no fuckin’ skirt/ make sure you go to school and if you don’t, stay with some work’. Wara then goes on to provide the psychological ups and downs of a crack cocaine dealer, who can’t decide whether he’s protesting ‘you think I like Crack, you think I like shooting niggas’, or celebrating on the hook ‘nigga when I be slangin’ drugs, oooh I get that feeling’. It’s a clever song, with gritty but smoothly composed visuals that follow a day in the life of Wara’s character. Well worth a watch.