The Roots debut their new video for "When The People Cheer" on Okayplayer

The Roots come through with their new video for “When The People Cheer” (the first track leaked off their forthcoming album ...and then you shoot your cousin) and Okayplayer is extremely proud to host the world premiere of this unsettling and visually brilliant animated short directed by Joe Baughman. &TYSYC is a longplayer maybe best described with the words ‘ghetto-existentialist opus’ and “When The People Cheer” is in many ways the lyrical centerpiece of the record, applying bizarro-world logic to the usual rap rules and offering MCs Black Thought and Greg Porn the rare opportunity for self-awareness as they do “consequential dirt” on their existential grind.

The visuals from the supremely talented Baughman (who also created our official OKP 15th Anniversary animation as a little birthday gift) do extremely consequential dirt, as well, creating a fully realized microverse for the lyrics and ideas of the song to inhabit. The short introduces us to a bespectacled (be-Cazaled?) everyman molded in brown clay as he navigates a treacherous workshop/world full of pitfalls and heavy machinery, drowning his microcosmic sorrows in lapdances and bleeding Apple Jacks when pricked. The use of text also unpacks the complex worldplay that may get lost on your initial 5 listens to the song, for instance Porn’s couplet:

Am I a douchebag or just another doo rag / tryina get ahead on some brand new wave shit…money is the language / So every time I speak I’m tryin’ to make another payment.

Though the short is true to the song’s rather dark worldview (everybody acts / like God is all that / but I got the feelin’ he ain’t never coming back…) in the final analysis the worldviewer is left with the feeling that even if Art (represented here both in intricate wordplay and phototropic skeins of red paint which grow like vines through the video’s sterile white walls)  is our only real answer to the void…it’s still a pretty good answer. Watch below:

“When The People Cheer” Animated Short/Lyric Video Credits:
Creator: Joe Baughman

Assistant Director: Matt Erdel
Compositing: Andrew Deselm

Assistant animators: Jacob Bartlett, Kylee Stump
Miniature House Construction: David Badertscher
Special Thanks: Dave Vermillion, Tina Baughman, Amber Kreider, Kyle Heffelfinger, Roscoe Bagging

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  • daniel

    Like the track, but didnt like the video…especially the typography used didnt seem right.

  • toothpick

    WTF is going on with the typography? The video would’ve ben tenfold better without it.

  • PTK

    video was great and the typography was a big part of that. the delivery of the lyrics is kind of understated and the visual helped to highlight the standout lines and bring the focus back to the lyrics. that’s not an easy thing to do.

  • Pharoahs

    that point was for you to focus on the “keywords” ppl are too critical but nobody has anything to say when there are a million ass shots and champagne unnecessarily in every shot… who cares if you don’t like the type!!

  • Dewy Decimal

    this is what one fines when one looks up “art” in the dictionary.

  • down vote then

    im trying to really understand the video , and i cant get a real understanding of the symbolism , which must mean im over thinking it. the second song tomorrow is a great tune. i just hope the album isnt like only 10 songs. im sure it is. i know they are older, and getting away from the posse cuts, and this is the second concept album, but id really like if they would make another album in this same year or next that almost feels like things fall apart. something with many tracks, and very versatile. but hey thats me. im a huge roots fan, i think their albums from things fall apart to undun are excellent!!!.

    i start with things fall apart, because for me thats the first album that set the bar of what lead to the sound of the following like 4 albums

  • aronious

    That second verse tho

  • websnap

    Can not stop listening to this track. This just blows me away.

  • DJEvillincoln!?

    Really loved the video.. very creative.. but the track I’m still iffy on. The last few albums have been musically… “depressing” for lack of a better word…

  • 2K123R

    Tight yo..