Kendrick Lamar: Alright
This one actually came out a few weeks ago, but it’s worth mention. Kendrick Lamar’s new music video for his track Alright, which comprises part of the How to Pimp a Butterfly album is incredible. Raw, tactile and deeply moving, it is as much a protest piece as a work of art. The clip begins with a two minute intro, black and white, high definition shots reveal San Francisco in a darker, much more haunting light. High-rise city buildings are portrayed alongside the poorer areas, where street fires, graffiti and violence take the forefront. Lamar was nominated for a VMA for the music video this year, which conveys just how strong the piece was. Containing lyrics like “I rap I’m black, on track so rest assured” and “And we hate po po, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure” Alright definitely one of the more controversial tracks to be nominated for an award.
Hudson Mohawke: Warriors ft. Ruckazoid, Deveaux
HudMo has delivered a very exciting new music video to go with their track Warriors, which portrays Clipses’ Pusha T as a futuristic warrior, fleeing authorities in the near future. The song is uplifting, combining soaring electronica with warm, gutsy vocals. What better aesthetic to pair with it than a modern day superhero running through the streets at night. The film itself has a beautiful faded quality to it, black and white shots of HudMo are blurred and distorted with a pumping strobe. All in all its quite fab.
Thundercat: Them Changes
Thundercat’s latest track Them Changes is a smooth, soulful reminiscence on loss and heartbreak. Carlos Lopez Estrada, the amazing director behind its awesome music video spoke about creating a film to explore the songs unique take on suffering.
““Thundercat’s take on heartbreak is so atypical that I figured the video for the song should be anything but a classic relationship-gone-wrong story,” notes Estrada. “Stories like athletes’ careers ending after injuries or artists losing their site/hearing/ability to perform; these concepts are truly heartbreaking. I also know that Thundercat has a thing for samurais – so I saw an opportunity to make everyone happy here. Or everyone sad, I guess.””
Coin Banks: Cursive
From looking at his music videos, the way they capture the hustle and bustle of New York’s streets you’d assume Coin Banks was a local. He’s actually from Perth. This latest music video is a modern day love story, following the journey of two young kids as they cross paths. The kids are quite adorable, and the idea works well. My only criticism is the big cartoon words that flash across the screen. In some ways they add to the juvenile charm of the film, but they also make it seem slightly like an advertisement. Coin Banks has done an incredible amount in the last twelve months, dropping two EPs as well as multiple international tours.
Slum Village ft. Bilal and Illa J: Love Is
A few months ago Slum Village released their epic album Yes. It was truly groundbreaking in the way that it tied their smooth, old-school hip hop sound with themes and social commentaries that were inherently modern. You can read more about the album here. Love Is is the first track on the album, featuring a thumping beat and a gorgeous sexy hook by Bilal, it sets the tone of the album. Slum Village’s music video is classy, combining handheld shots of themselves with footage of the streets of San Fransisco. The shots are often lagged, kaleidoscoped or have completely enhanced colours, emphasising the upbeat, chaotic nature of the song.