Run the Jewels confront drugs and war in their stormy, 360-degree video for “Crown,” a highlight from their 2014 LP, Run the Jewels 2. The clip, previously only available via a New York Times app, was directed by Peter Martin and enhanced by virtual reality company Wevr.
In the video, the duo rap against a black background filled with lightning. The first half finds Killer Mike asking forgiveness from a mother to whom he once sold cocaine. “Heard she was pregnant; I’m guilty, I reckon, ’cause I hear that good shit can hurt baby’s brain,” he rhymes. “Heard he was normal ’til three and then he stopped talkin’ / Since then, ain’t nothin’ been the same.”
El-P’s verse finds the rapper staring down an armed soldier. “Give up your childish obsession with questioning / Anything we don’t tell you is irrelevant,” he raps, embodying the evil forces of war. “Everything you’ve ever been is replaced by the metal and fire of the weapon you clutch.”
Last month, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced Run the Jewels with a video message prior to their Coachella performance. “I thought the least I could do for both of you is help you out by bringing a few young people together,” joked the Vermont senator.