The internet is full of artists with strange, deliberately scruffy aesthetics. Whether it’s Yung Lean green screened over footage of Pokémon stadium or Spooky Black’s bizarre du-rag smirks, there’s no shortage of internet-friendly visuals. The difference between these artists and Bones, however, is that his aesthetic fails to provide the disconnect that others do. Inspired by the sinister VHS work of Harmony Korine, his grainy videos go hand-in-hand with his macabre music.
His world is fiction—sometimes ridiculous, sometimes terrifying. His songs frequently sample music that makes use of hauntology and embody an almost punk attitude, and it’s rare for a song of his to last longer than three minutes. Think early Three 6 Mafia if the internet was widely available in the early ’90s. His pencil ‘stache, long hair, and skinny frame further fuel the creepy aura.
Whether squatting beneath eerie static or washing his switchblade with Fiji Water, Bones knows how to make everything appear mystifying. His background providing visuals for Raider Klan is evident, but his style remains his own. The videos are all shot on an old family camera that uses Hi8 tapes, edited through unkempt means. While a lot of these internet-born artists are working towards a bright and clean aesthetic, Bones goes for the complete opposite.
It’s hard to explain the appeal of Bones without resorting to comparisons of awkward surrealism. The darkened hues are cryptic, yet the guy behind the music is a skinny white dude from L.A. that dropped out of school to pursue his dreams. He doesn’t front like he’s about the life his music portrays—it’s just the art that he likes to create.
Bones’ output doesn’t quite rival Lil B’s, but his work ethos isn’t too far removed from that of The Based God. Bones has accumulated over 15 releases since he started in 2012, and he’s currently readying the release of a new mixtape, Garbage. Regardless, Bones is a character worth investing time into, even if his discography is intimidating. Just don’t go in expecting a based attitude.