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Year’s Best: OKP’s Top 14 Music Videos Of 2014

Year’s Best: OKP’s Top 14 Music Videos Of 2014

Year's Best: OKP's Top 14 Music Videos Of 2014

7. The Roots – “Understand” [dir. Joe Baughman]

When The Roots began to debut music from their decidedly conceptual album …and then you shoot your cousin, director Joe Baughman gave us a claymation video for “When The People Cheer” and followed that up with a clip that feels like a sequel in his stop motion visual for “Understand.” The track is a drum-and-organ centric musical score that hinges upon sentient lyrics: “People ask for God, ’til the day He comes; see God face, turn around and run; God sees the face of a man, shakes his head then He says ‘Man’ll never understand’.” The wildly inventive video follows an animated wad of cash — with Benjamin Franklin at the head — through a journey inside an eerie factory, with plenty of thought-provoking imagery. Primarily focused on concepts of money and religion — collection plates, communion wine, and Bibles appear throughout — the overall feeling leans toward the brilliantly surreal. A church organ plays itself, machines build a casket that eventually fills with money, and blue and red police lights flash behind stained glass. As our Ben Franklin main character makes its way toward an unknown fate, the theme of spirituality vs. economics in society is confirmed in the lyrics of Dice Raw (who seems to plan on gambling his way through the afterlife): “I pray, I pray, All Dogs Go To Heaven; or to a new hell with a Wi-Fi connection; so I can pay for my sins on PayPal; or own a holy ghost, a greyhound.” With just under three minutes of nonstop symbolism, the video for “Understand” is a bewitching accompaniment to the overall themes put forth in the wonderfully cerebral collection of songs that make up ATYSYC. – Cali Green

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