From Grimes’ fearless girl gang to Zico’s neon-coated dream, these are January’s stand-out visuals
GRIMES – “WILD KILL V. MAIM”
When Grimes releases a music video she always goes in full force, and the ridiculously fun, dream-like visual for “Kill V. Maim” is no different. Directed by Grimes and her brother Mac Boucher, and shot entirely in Toronto, the video plays out like a cyberpunk, sci-fi fantasy come to life. In it, the Dazed cover star becomes a fierce girl gang leader, singing amongst a group of masked dancers in what looks like an abandoned train station. Later on, she rides an effervescent flying car through the city before heading to a zombie-filled party where everyone dances and writhes around beneath a shower of thick, bright blood.
JOEY LABEIJA – “SHATTERED DREAMS”
Joey LaBeija’s debut album Shattered Dreams was a beautifully twisted slice of raw, jagged vogue house bangers – the kind that could only have been born out of deep, dark New York. This video (below) is the first to arrive from that album, and it utilises those late night city feels, with LaBeija driving through the streets with his mates. As the video goes on, his figure becomes chopped, spliced and sped up, his ice-white eyes piercing through like an early Aphex Twin visual. “I decided to title the project Shattered Dreams because at the time, it felt like my life was spiralling out of control,” he told The Fader. “It was a very dark period for me, but in retrospect, I realized that hitting the bottom is imperative to becoming a stronger person. I feel like it catalyses creativity.”
A$AP ROCKY – “JD”
Our favourite A$AP has a long history of releasing music vids that blow all others out the water, from the Technicolor Hood By Air diss “Multiply” to the hazy, psychedelic visuals of Grammy Award-winning “L$D” (which we included in our ‘Top 20 Music Videos of 2015’). The latter of those was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dexter Navy, who was also recruited for the rapper’s most recent creation “JD” (below). In the 2-minute clip, A$AP Rocky walks through the streets of London at night, haunted by the animated spectre of James Dean. He then transforms into a vampire-like animation himself, the clip flickering between real life and cartoon, like some kind of nightmarish vision.
ZICO – “너는 나 나는 너 (I AM YOU, YOU ARE ME)”
Last week, we spoke to South Korean megastar Zico about his volcanic rise from Block B boy band leader to fearless, no-fucks-given rapper, and how he has been existing with one foot in both worlds. But before that, he released this candy-coated visual for new track “I Am You, You Are Me”, which sees the artist sing, rap and dance in a supermarket, his eyes firmly directed towards a bored-looking shop assistant. Eventually the pair realise they’ve been wearing the same outfits, from a multi-coloured woollen jumper to a big, biker jack and a fuzzy, canary yellow top and a shirt with a rose pin. Watch right to the end to see if you can spot a copy of Dazed leaning against one of the shop shelves.
GWILYM GOLD & DARKSTAR – “SOME GREATER CLASS”
Described as a “live pop video” by London-based choreographer and director Holly Blakely, this visual challenges gender norms and class structures through a fluid, hyper-sexualised dance routine, all set to the deep, thumping sounds of Gwilym Gold and Darkstar’s “Some Greater Class”. Asked how she made it so erotic, Blakely explained: “I filled the stage with luscious, fertile plants and placed fans in the audience that gently blew the leaves, but also tickled the backs of people’s necks…The room was covered in blue-green “growing lights”, so everything had a sensual sense of youthfulness and purity, whilst somehow also feeling a little off-balance.”