Some music videos are straightforward. So much so that they can be parodied shot for shot without fear of getting lost in translation. That’s not true for After the Smoke, whose creative vision comes from the mind of multimedia artist Rob Coin. For After the Smoke’s first visual release since the impressive conscious hip-hop track “Wallstreet,” we’re presented with a dichotomous day-in-the-life take on a relationship between a young man and a woman. Marred by drugs and blood, it’s an exaggerated representation of all the ways love goes haywire that still manages to come full circle in the end with romantic statement imagery of red roses and red wine. It takes multiple views to piece together this narrative as it’s told from both perspectives in the first person and jumps between the two, but once it clicks it really clicks.
In contrast to the visual dramatics, the music is more minimalistic with a pounding beat set to familiar Kendrick Lamar gun shot ad-libs and looped applause as well as a lyrical flow reminiscent of early OutKast. Watch the video above and look for After the Smoke’s new mixtape Microwaves to drop on December 11.