The first week of July really delivered with the music videos this time. We got some really dope new visuals from JAY-Z, Run the Jewels, Macklemore, Kesha, and more. A lot of animated stuff, so check out everything I rounded up below, along with my reactions.
Run the Jewels – Don’t Get Captured
I love nothing more than seeing Run the Jewels get their due shine. After appearing on the debut Black Panther trailer, which is a big look, they’re back with a new video off their last album, which also happens to be one of my favorite albums of the year. They’re one of the most creative and visually interesting acts in music today and they deliver again with this super dope, animated, almost stop-motion-esque video that contains all kinds of imagery about social injustice, the prison complex, police brutality, and more. Dope song, dope video, dope group.
Tory Lanez – Bal Harbour
Tory Lanez had a really good 2016 and this week he dives back into that year with an animated affair for “Bal Harbour”, off one of his two mixtape releases at the end of the year. The animation isn’t of the highest quality but it does have a unique art style that keeps it from feeling cheap. This was one of my favorite songs from those tapes so I’m glad to see him revisiting it.
Allan Kingdom – Fever
Even though his debut album dropped not too long ago Allan Kingdom is already back with a new single and video. It’s got a summer vibe that I could see gaining some traction but I can’t say it’s my favorite song I’ve heard from him. But this could help him gain even more mainstream attention, so it could be a good thing.
Kesha – Praying
Wow, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever hear from Kesha again. I know she was going through a lot with her management and other issues, but being away from the spotlight for as long as she has been is typically a career death sentence. But I think this a really strong comeback song that might just put her back on track. Feels like she hasn’t missed a beat, including with her apparent love for bright colors and desert aesthetics.
Vic Mensa – OMG
I’ll be honest I’ve never really been that big a fan of Vic. He’s a good enough rapper but I don’t think he’s ever shown me anything truly special outside of his work with Kids These Days. Like this is another really solid song but I think it’ll end up being fairly forgettable like most of his drops thus far. I’m hoping he shows me something special sooner than later, as his debut release is fast approaching.
First time I heard Dua Lipa on a song I knew she had the potential to be the next big thing. Her voice is just incredible and her debut project has gotten a ton of positive response so far. She hasn’t had that stratospheric single yet but she’s been dropping a lot of solid music and “New Rules” shows she’s got a great touch with the more EDM leaning stuff. The video is cool, typical pop song stuff that’s more than passable for this type of song.
Macklemore – Glorious
Macklemore is stepping out musically alone for the first time in a really long time (sans Ryan Lewis), so I’m actually really interested to hear what that’s gonna sound like. “Glorious”, the first such offering is a good song that honestly doesn’t sound too different than his Lewis assisted work which is a bit disappointing, but it does have a cool little accompanying video that actually captures the vibe of the song really well. Now if all of this was actually non-staged, that’d make this really gold.
JAY-Z – The Story of O.J.
JAY-Z has once again taken over the music world and the greater music conversation with his surprising new release, 4:44. It was a surprisingly social/black album and “The Story of O.J.” was easily the most social of them all and also my personal favorite. The video for it is super ill; it looks like one of those old-school (super racist) Disney cartoons as it delivers chilling imagery about race in America. Is there any question why so many consider this guy to be the GOAT?
What’d you think about this week’s videos? Which ones were your favorites? Did I miss any that I should check out? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to stay up with all the new content.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.