J Cole Crooked Smile

J. Cole “Crooked Smile” ft. TLC

If J. Cole’s “Power Trip” video seemed cinematic, he ups the stakes with “Crooked Smile,” which takes his recent commitment to narrative-driven visuals and injects powerful commentary. Few rappers would dare to get this heavy ever, let alone for a single performing as well as “Crooked Smile.” The TLC-assited tune is 36th on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, and 8th among R&B and hip hop songs.

The video, directed by Sheldon Candis, is dedicated to Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and recreates the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response team raid that led to the 7-year-old’s death in 2010. Cole plays Aiyana’s older brother, a drug dealer under investigation by the DEA, who raid his home on the evening of his sister’s birthday. True to the story, one of the DEA agents then shoots the young girl, turning their drug bust into an indefensible nightmare. The video closes with a short message from Cole: “And please reconsider your war on drugs.”

Candis, who previously directed Common in “Luv,” explained the idea of the video in a recent Vibe interview, saying that it was Cole’s idea, and praising the rapper for his work. “I’m very proud of him,” he said. “This is his first experience acting. He nailed it. He gives a very conflicted performance and it’s all a very non-verbal, silent performance. He’s my Ryan Gosling (Laughs).”

Analogies aside, all respect goes out to Cole, who uses his platform to make a social statement, and a moving one at that. The video is a tear-jerker, dealing with loss and making strong points about the priorities of law enforcement. Between a back yard grill, fireworks and the national anthem, one can infer that this is all taking place on the 4th July. What, then, does it say about the American way? That the war on drugs is misguided, ineffective, and in the worst of cases, terribly detrimental.

J cole crooked smile video

J cole Crooked Smile

J cole birthday cake

Related Articles

Music Video
Music Video

PREMIERE: Neisha Neshae “White Sticks” Video

Music Video
Music Video

Premiere: DJ Muggs ft Danny Brown “Headfirst”

Ad

Latest News

News

Cop Puts Gun To Unarmed Man’s Head, Says, “I’ll Kill You”

“The only thing I did wrong that day was run."
dj gant-man, juke, ghetto house, footwork, teklife Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! DJ Gant-Man

'The Youngest Professional DJ' 20 years later, still jukin'
Sheriff David Clarke Hot Takes

Hey, Sheriff David Clarke, Fuck You!

Some of the most hateful ideology ever heard from a cop's mouth
kendrick lamar mike will made it gucci mane humble damn News

Gucci Mane Almost Got the Beat for “HUMBLE.”

Hol' up!
tlc-lefteye-waterfalls-still Music

Remembering Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Through Her Verses

"I seen a rainbow yesterday"
Donald Trump News

Trump Fought the Law and the Law Won, Again

Today's edition of The Daily Blunt
snoop dogg method man listening room Music

New Music From: Snoop Dogg, Wifisfuneral, Section Boyz and More

The Listening Room (April 25, 2017)
will chris tucker join ice cube for the last 'friday'? Film

Will Chris Tucker Join Ice Cube for a New ‘Friday’?

Puff, puff... or pass?
Music Video

PREMIERE: David Dallas And His Dog Are Done Trying To “Fit In”

New video from New Zealand's finest
Features

Who’s the Best MC? J. Cole

The case for Fayettenam's Finest
Features

Who’s the Best MC? Kendrick Lamar

The case for Kung Fu Kenny
Features

Who’s The Best MC? Drake

The case for the 6 God
Music

Who’s the Best MC: Drizzy, K-Dot, or Cole?

The great debate
Fast Drips follows a bunch of writers on a prolific mission in the Paris subways. Graffiti

Watch These Writers Whyle Out in the Paris Subway

The Fast Drips series strikes again
TV

Kobe Bryant the Slam Poet Made His National TV Debut Last Night

The Black Mamba has put basketball *way* behind him.
systematic-nas-and-shadow-thumbnail Music

DJ Shadow Interviews Nas About Their Song, “Systematic”

A meeting of two legends