kojey radical and swindle explore fame’s purpose

January 4, 2019

From three seconds in when an off-screen director’s voice demands “a fucking horse,” it’s clear that the video for Kojey Radical and Swindle’s new single, “Coming Home,” will be breaking towards the light-hearted. Yet no matter how much its star-studded cast plays the video for laughs, the action here isn’t all slapstick. The three-scene clip featuring one of London’s charismatic young grime MCs and one of the scene’s signature producers, wryly tours levels of fame and modes of performance — poking fun, but gets its quiet digs in too.   

Visually speaking, it’s all par for the course for Kojey. The East London-born Kwadwo Adu Genfi Amponsah rose through the ranks as a poetic lyricist, citing Saul Williams as an inspiration; but the past year has seen him escape the din, thanks in part to a string of great videos. (Especially the short film ,“Water [feat. Mahalia]”; directed by Mos Popular Human and narrated by Michaela Coel, it’s one of 2018’s best clips.)

In humorously exploring the layers of stardom — and how the whole notion of “Coming Home” from the road figures into that — Kojey surrounds himself with more notables. Yet even directed by Olivia Rose, a veteran photographer of London grime, and co-starring a slate of the city’s grime legends and jazz legends-to-be — can you name them all? — it is the song’s atmosphere summoned by the lyricist that is at the center of the action. Even Swindle, who’s track this is officially, plays the part of sidekick (that’s him as hype-man in one scene, and as the guy who fixes Kojey Radical’s mic in another). Only the “fucking horse” seems bigger.

“Coming Home” is taken off Swindle’s album No More Normal, dropping in late January on Brownswood.