Run the Jewels Deliver An Ominous Warning In Virtual Reality (Videos)

Don’t let the first several seconds of darkness fool you – Run the Jewels’ new video is immersive, conceptual, and dope. The black-and-white 360-degree virtual reality ready visual for “Crown” is deceptively simple at its outset, with some thunder and lightning serving as understated effects as Killer Mike drops the track’s opening verse. But by the time El-P appears on screen, the storm surges and the video’s thematic elements become broader and more thematic in scope. References to war, psychological trauma, and corruption populate the 360-degree landscape of “Crown,” which viewers can explore with the simple click-and-drag of the mouse or (turning of their phones within the YouTube app). The song’s message is imbued with words meant to inspire but is equally rife with warnings about what may happen if we choose not to pursue our potential or spiritual freedoms.

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While the video alone is enough to inspire awe, some behind-the-scenes footage documents not only the technical aspects of creating such a unique production, but also the song’s message in the artists’ own words. According to El-P, the song is all about “relinquishing something in your life, be it an idea or a feeling or a reality of yours,” while Killer Mike explains that his verse is “about truth,” attributing his inspiration to experiences growing up during the crack epidemic and the guilt associated with being involved in the drug’s proliferation throughout the community.

This Wevr Original Production follows another 360 video from the duo filmed during a Run the Jewels performance in London.