run the jewels party like capitalism just died in the “ooh la la” video

April 28, 2020
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Prediction: We are going to party the hardest we’ve ever partied once this crisis is over. When it’s truly safe for us to be outside and around one another, all of our pent up energy will be released in an explosion of life-affirming revelry. We’ll celebrate but we will also have been irrevocably changed by this experience. As Americans witness our economy and healthcare system straining under COVID-19’s pressure and the federal government’s ineptitude in handling the pandemic the cracks in the facade and foundation of American capitalism have been exposed for us to reckon with, like it or not.

It’s in this climate of harsh reality tempered with cautious hope for the future that Run The Jewels have released their new video for “Ooh LA LA” featuring a ’90s hip-hop chorus from Nice & Smooth’s Greg Nice and scratches by the revered DJ Premier. Filmed in early March of this year—before shit truly hit the fan—the video features RTJ’s El-P and Killer Mike in the midst of a street party with scores of other people doing synchronized dances, jumping double dutch, adding to a bonfire, and just generally having a good time. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see in a Bruno Mars or DaBaby video but remember that this is Run The Jewels and they wouldn’t give us all this fun without a side of subversiveness. “In conceptualizing the video with our friends Brian and Vanessa Beletic we imagined the world on the day that the age-old struggle of class was finally over. A day that humanity, empathy, and community were victorious over the forces that would separate us based on arbitrary systems created by man, ” RTJ says of the video concept. The celebration is socialist—egalitarian even—and the bonfire is fueled by burning money. “This video is a fantasy of waking up on a day that there is no monetary system, no dividing line, no false construct to tell our fellow man that they are less or more than anyone else. Not that people are without but that the whole meaning of money has vanished. That we have somehow solved our self-created caste system and can now start fresh with love, hope, and celebration. It’s a dream of humanity’s V-DAY… and the party we know would pop off.”

While adjusting to our uncertain present we also look forward to a reality where a party like this is more than a fantasy.