Joyner Lucas Shows The Journey Of A $100 Bill In 1 Of The Year’s Most Innovative Videos
In the video for his phenomenal record, “Keep It 100,” Worcester, Massachusetts rapper Joyner Lucas takes follows the lifespan of a $100 bill. After being printed at the Mint, it emerges through an ATM, then is handed off to a drug dealer, who brings it to a strip club. The dancer then uses the same rolled-up Benjamin Franklin to snort cocaine before spending it at a convenience store that is robbed. From there, it ends up in the collection plate of a church and the greedy hands of a pastor who then uses it to pay a prostitute. The woman is assaulted by another man who robs her of her recently earned $100, though he loses it all in a dice game. It falls out of the pocket of the game’s winner, and sits abandoned in an alley for weeks, at which point a familiar face picks it up…
Though released in June, the concept of “Keep It 100” is of such high caliber that it bears repeating and replays. Within the first frame alone, the evidence of the extensive thought that went into the video abounds. A homeless man of color is teased with a crisp dollar bill, only to have it taken away from his grasp and instead be doused in liquid soap. There are a handful of metaphors being presented. First is that poverty is an affliction that can’t simply be solved with giving the displaced a few bucks here and there; what is required is an entire dismantling and “cleaning up” of the system that makes homelessness so rampant. Secondly, is that the wealthy and powerful look upon the disenfranchised and poor as “dirty” and a blight on the world. The man’s shirt is also deeply meaningful. It’s emblazoned with the name and face of John F. Kennedy, a president long rumored to have been assassinated because he was putting in place plans to disembowel the Federal Reserve, the central banking system of the United States.
#BonusBeat: Incredible video concepts are not the only thing Joyner Lucas has to offer, but fans know that already. For those still learning about him, “Ultrasound” is a prime example of his skill as an MC.
Both “Keep It 100” and “Ultrasound” are off Joyner Lucas’ June album, 508-507-2209, coincidentally the same phone number written across the $100 bill in the first video.