Torn From the Headlines is where we showcase videos that, in the vein of Childish Gambino's powerful "This Is America", offer commentary on the state of the world. And, well, given the current state of the world, things could get dark, but we'll try to lighten the mood with the odd bit of social satire as well.
You would expect that Top Dawg Entertainment, a music label boasting Kendrick Lamar as its flagship artist, would put out a video like this at some point. ScHoolboy Q’s video for “Dangerous” is a beautifully shot way to outline the cyclical nature of violence in American neighbourhoods in the most simple and effective manner.
For a song that’s two and a half minutes long, there’s not much that actually happens in the video, the camera taking its time to pan slowly and draw everything out to make it as uneasy as possible.
We’re introduced to ScHoolboy Q and another man sitting in a car with a stone-cold and desensitized look on his face, before he gets out and shoots another man in the street. They get back in the car, and another car pulls up and enacts its revenge, shooting Q as he’s driving off—but not before a famous quote from Gandhi appears on screen: “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
The video’s director, Alexandre Moors, was recently nominated for the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for his Iraq War film The Yellow Birds, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the violence in this video is so visceral.
ScHoolboy Q has touched on similar themes before on the track “Cycle,” from his 2011 breakthrough album Setbacks, speaking from the perspective of a character who has been inundated with gang culture from a young age, ultimately playing into the neverending downward spiral that takes too many too young.
But if that’s a lot to think about on a long weekend, you can always watch ScHoolboy Q enjoying some spicy wings instead.