Firstly, a quick note before we dive in, this is HANDS DOWN one of the best videos of the year. With all the furore over the last few days surrounding who was given “Video Of The Year” at the iHeart music awards (taking nothing away from Director X or Bouha Kazmi but did either really deserve it?) and the amount of mindless lyric videos that are being churned out in order to capitalise on record streams, it once again falls on the shoulders of a hip-hop artist to use the medium of music video to actually create a piece of film that is powerful, thought-provoking and able to produce some interesting discourse.
But hey, rant over!
As the second single off his highly anticipated new album ‘All Amerikkkan Bada$$’, the new video from the Pro Era head honcho, gives the viewer an insight into Joey’s feelings on the social and political state of the U.S. In a time of ever more growing prejudice and unrest, the new video for ‘Land Of The Free’ directed by Nathan R. Smith and Joey himself, shows Joey and a number of ethnically diverse prisoners, tied in chains as they await a brutal execution at the hands of the white police and political oppressors they’re with in the desert. This is juxtaposed with Joey rapping to some kids in a heavenly looking field, clearly showing our need to educate future generations to repair these long stemming, deeply engrained, social injustices.
“Can’t change the world unless we change ourselves, die from the sickness if we don’t seek the health.”
It may just be a song, it may just be a video, but you can’t deny that Joey is using his voice and talent to create something of value. Although it’s only 5 minutes in length, it shows how a well thought out music video can still play a part in using entertainment to impact the discussions we are having about society. Let’s just hope more people continue to do the same (and these are the real winners of “Video Of The Year”).