Rapper Mykki Blanco reimagines Romeo and Juliet in the video for feverish new track “High School Never Ends.” Produced by Woodkid and directed by Matt Lambert, the video uses the Shakespearean tragedy as a frame for contemporary issues such as the refugee crisis, homophobia, and racism.
“I had once thought Europe was my safe haven from American white supremacy, and how wrong I became,” said Blanco, who has lived in Europe on and off since 2012. “I’ve seen Europe change, I have seen the surface of acceptance and the novelty of my brown skin become a frown in a public square … a cashier telling me to ‘Go Back to My Own Country’ … This story is about outsiders, forbidden love … when the Far Left & the Far Right are willing to go to any extreme to prevail in their truth.”
The clip, which premiered via The Fader, is set in rural Germany and stars Blanco and Tobias Kagelind as secret lovers. The video jumps between scenes of their courtship, adult rendezvous and the forces keeping them apart. Kagelind’s character comes from a group of skinheads and in one brutal scene they attack a Mercutio-esque friend of Blanco’s character.
Blanco spits verses with poetic ease against a curtain of tension.”High School Never Ends” will appear on Blanco’s upcoming album, which has yet to be given a release date or title.