No Malice Rhymes Among Lynched Men in “So Woke” Video
After releasing his poignant track "So Woke" in June, Virginia MC No Malice delivers an eye-opening new visual for the track. The video from the former Clipse member comes on the heels of the announcement that his second solo album, Let the Dead Bury the Dead, is slated for release Aug. 18.
Through a reinvigorated, refocused agenda following Clipse’s 2009 album, Til the Casket Drops, No Malice’s latest LP becomes the follow-up to his 2013 effort, Hear Ye Him. After finding religion, the REinvision Records artist has been quoted in the past as saying “I count on him to use me in his will,” and in his latest video, that will is abominable.
The track, produced by Lee Major and Ray Baker, is driven by No Malice’s thirst to enlighten. Citing two sources, Merriam Webster and The Bible, he draws a parallel between an oft considered definition, and the book of Genesis.
Telling XXL that Webster defines the word "inspire" as “to breathe or blow into or upon,” No Malice then cites Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
The video, which follows the June release of "Fake News," depicts No Malice posthumously narrating the site of his own death, weaving in and out of family members, distraught onlookers and protesters as a CSI unit investigates.
During the clip, the rapper spits some of his most conscious lyrics yet. Laid down over a spooky synth with ample helpings of bass and high hats, No Malice raps “I heard it was a killin’ in Orlando/Media playin’ our heartstrings like a banjo/All lives matter, try tellin’ that to Philando/I don’t think they really cared, nobody played a banjo/Rambo, first blood, we ain't draw it/Slaughtered right in front of the daughter, we all saw it.”
Co-directed by No Malice and Jay McCord, with Sergio Lorenzana on cinematographer, the video’s most cringe-worthy shots are that of No Malice rhyming flat-footed among the strange fruit of lynched comrades while joggers, Jordans and Foamposites dangle from the trees. Harkening to Albright College professor Emily Godbey’s theory of terrible fascination, viewers will gawk at the MC’s brute honest depiction of the country’s continued struggle towards equality.
“The video is to depict the world's social ills and humanity's longing for a cure,” No Malice tells XXL. “Whether pastor or president, man ain't gon' fix this one!”
Peep the video for “So Woke” below and pre-order Let the Dead Bury the Dead here.—Alex Bell
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