Before today, there never was a great 21 Savage video. I’m not even sure there was a good 21 Savage video, or a memorable one. But 21 Savage is moving up the ladder, and we’ve now reached the point where one of his clips stands as a real statement, a reason to pay attention.
At the end of last year, Savage released his relatively ambitious and effective album i am > i was. It’s the first time one of Savage’s projects has big high-profile guest verses, the first one that really strives for importance. And now he’s made a clip for “A Lot,” the opening track, which was previously notable mostly for its soul sample and for the part where guest J. Cole says some vaguely supportive-sounding things about Tekashi 6ix9ine. But now it’s got this grand, cinematic video, which registers as a cool surprise.
Director Aisultan Seitov films Savage and Cole at a fancy mansion party, around a group of warm and familial black folks who are clearly very happy to be around each other. But then the camera shows them in moments of darkness and struggle. And the camera also implies that maybe they aren’t really all there — that these moments prevented them from ever being there. It’s heavy, and its powerful. Watch it below.
i am > i was is out now on Epic.