Heems seems to be branching out into the wild media frontier of high art gifs in his new video for “Damn Girl,” off of his excellent Eat Pray Thug release. In the clip, the Punjabi-Indian MC flitters back in forth in a series of cycles, his movements across an art gallery turned into a kind of musical gif exhibition. “Damn Girl”‘s message of a relationship stuck inside a small repeating circles that creates nothing new, save pain. Heems’s early lines “We go back and forth, we can’t let go but we both need to / We put each other up on pedestals instead of being equals” play out as his pained expressions play and then rewind amidst small sculptures and paintings on pedestals right there beside him.
Some may take the video effects to be an odd gimmick, but there’s a very clear and present reason for Heems’s approach here. The shoot took place in New York’s Aicon Gallery, where Exclaim reports that the rapper recently curated a show featuring works from Abdullah M. I. Syed, Pardon My Hindi and Aakash Nihalani. Watch the clip below and check out Heems’s full summer tour itinerary below. Sometimes it’s difficult to break these patterns we’re in.