“Established rappers — I want to scare them.”
That’s what Olatunji Ige (Tunji for short) told Complex last month when they premiered his debut album The Love Project, an incredibly diverse and powerful collection from the 19-year-old Pennsylvania rapper. If hip-hop heavyweights were too busy enjoying December’s rich release schedule to notice the quiet release of Ige’s debut, then the video of “For Us” will raise their hackles. The video begins by adopting a film noir style while a clip of a French lecture rolls during the “credits,” then it flips that narrative, shifting to footage of grimy, modern streets and a figure in a balaclava who literally chokes a chain off another boy. From there, it expands into color and textural overlays that pattern themselves over bleak, violent stories. Carcasses of meat hanging in store windows are juxtaposed with a prone body dead in the street, and intermittently, people holding iPhone cameras stare back at the viewer. Directed by Josh Goldenberg, the most ready comparison I have for the video is Black Mirror, a British TV show that dives into the dystopian effects of technology on society. “For Us” channels the same surreal, silent terror, slinking past conscience and heading straight for consequence. Once you factor in Ige’s own hypnotizing production and commanding flow, this is a terrifyingly good video. The establishment should be shook. Watch it below.
The Love Project is out now via Brain Bandits. Stream or download it for free here.