Directed by Jason Goldwatch, the clip is a compelling visual collage that features Nas performing the track amidst an array of juxtapositions, such as side-by-side videos of mushroom clouds and blooming flowers, and a photo of Olympic track star Wilma Rudolph crossing the finish line next to a Civil Rights-era snapshot of police chasing two black teenagers (the same one famously used on the cover of the Roots Things Fall Apart). The video also features some stranger choices, like an illustration of Stevie Wonder next to the infamous police sketch of the unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and pictures of President Donald Trump and Eddie Murphy’s SNL character Buckwheat both making “OK signs.”
“With peaceful displays of humankind’s achievements and nature’s beauty paired with difficult scenes of man-made destruction, the message is clear; it is our duty to learn from humanity’s fraught history and move forward in the name of love,” read a statement in the YouTube description for the “War Against Love” video.
Nas released The Lost Tapes 2 in July via Mass Appeal and Def Jam. The album arrived 17 years after the highly acclaimed first installment, which collected unreleased tracks from Nas’ 1999 album I Am… and 2001’s Stillmatic. The new record boasts songs made during the sessions for 2006’s Hip-Hop is Dead, 2008’s Untitled, 2012’s Life Is Good and 2018’s Nasir.