The Roots add yet another gripping visual from the critically renowned …and then you shoot your cousin LP to their arsenal with the release of “Never,” featuring the haunting vocals of Patty Crash and visuals that compete with her voice for scary-points. In a narrative that strangely echoes their live-art installation at The Public Theatre last month, we find ourselves looking over the shoulder (anxiously) of a young man in danger of being consumed by his environment. Shadowy, faceless figures plague his path, alternating with beautifully-photographed shots of debris swirling through the empty streets of a Night Of The Comet ghost-town, begging the question, What’s scarier: other people–or no other people?
It’s the existentialist question par excellence and this latest visual from The Roots plays out like a ghetto equivalent to Jean-Paul Sartre‘s infamous short play “No Exit.” While the supporting visuals for the anthemic “When The People Cheer” and the contemplative “Understand” came in the form of thoughtful claymation magic, this live treatment offers an even darker realization of the album’s themes: a ruthless critique of hip-hop’s culture and the debilitating effect of its ubiquity. You’ll see what we mean when you watch the video below: lace up your existentialist combat boots and prepare to jump out into “Never.”