Rapper J. Cole has released a new music video for his single “Crooked Smile.” Although the song and the music video contrast, they both send a very powerful and enlightening message to his fans.
For the song, Jermaine Cole enlists the help of R&B group TLC for the chorus (R.I.P., Left Eye). He talks about how much pressure women are under to look a certain way and how self-esteem is important, especially in this day and age. He shows that men aren’t immune to the pressures to be more attractive, disclosing in the first verse the amount of pressure he received to straighten his not so perfect grill. In the end J. Cole is inspiring everyone to be happy with their imperfections, even their crooked smiles!
The music video, however, paints a different picture.
The video is a reenactment of the sad circumstances surrounding the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7-year-old girl from Detroit, MI, who was heartbreakingly gunned down by police in a drug raid. Although it’s informative and is raising awareness to a case that didn’t garner media attention when it initially occurred, it’s had its share of controversy, with many questioning the closing words, “and please reconsider your war on drugs.”
“Crooked Smile” has reached number 4 on the US Billboard Rap Songs chart and number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is the second single from Cole’s sophomore studio album Born Sinner, which has out-sold Kanye West’s Yeezus.
What is the “Work Out” rapper up to now? He’s on the “What Dreams May Come” tour, and will be making a special stop at Nokia Theatre on October 24th. Get your tickets here.
The single in available on iTunes.
What do you think about the song? Tell us!
-Shonte’ Jenkins, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles