Every music video off Run The Jewels 2 has been so good and different. The new film for the Zack de la Rocha collab "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)" doesn't deviate from that assessment, but it's heavy and a hell of a lot more real than the rest. It makes sense, considering the video deals directly with the very real issue of police brutality.
It's no secret that RTJ duo El-P and Killer Mike have been outspoken against police brutality. Mike—who has a long history of calling out power-abusing cops—has turned into somewhat of a talking head along the way, with a handful of CNN appearances under his belt. Lately, he's turned that into a lecturing gig—he was at NYU earlier this week talking Ferguson, police brutality, and so forth. He is a voice we so desperately need, and Run The Jewels has been a powerful platform for both him and El-P.
In any case, here's what video director AG Royas had to say about the film they created together:
When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It's provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn't paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They're not stereotypes. They're people - complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story. The film begins and it feels like they have been fighting for days, they're exhausted, not a single punch is thrown, their violence is communicated through clumsy, raw emotion. They've already fought their way past their judgments and learned hatred toward one another. Our goal was to highlight the futility of the violence, not celebrate it.
May Run The Jewels keep going until Run The Jewels Infinity.