Jay Rock & Kendrick Lamar Go Back To Basics In Their “Wow Freestyle” Video

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Hi. We recently created AFH TV, Ambrosia For Heads’ streaming video service, because we believe real Hip-Hop deserves its own dedicated TV home, but we need your help to make it great. Please subscribe to AFH TV. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and already features some amazing content, but the best is yet to come. Thank you for all of your support.

Jay Rock may have dropped his highly praised Redemption album at the top of the summer, but he is still working on the TDE project. The “Wow Freestyle” is the eighth video he has dropped off his third full-length project, which is 13 tracks long. Artists have been saying that their album is like a movie for years, but now many of Hip-Hop’s top tier MCs are actually filming so many big budget videos, that watched end-to-end, might as well be a blockbuster flick.

Since the “Wow Freestyle” is all about Eastside Johnny and Kendrick having been down since childhood, the visuals are all about taking it back to the hood. The red Dodge Charger that Rock mentions at the beginning of the song arrives to pick him up. It’s Kung-Fu Kenny behind the wheel. They head to the park, where it’s popping off. A mob of people are clustered and are either chilling out or dancing. The footage switches back and forth between high quality digital to grainy camcorder, and a couple of different red cars—including an old school’s red interior. The retro feel of the footage and the ride give this visual a genuine throwback feel, and shows how far this tightly-knit twosome has come.

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Although there are not many effects in this video, director Jack Begert flexes a visual trick that is sure to be bitten for years to come. In the last third, Rock and Lamar are doing trade-off at a baseball field at night, and as each finishes their turn rapping, they go into slow-mo…but they go back to regular speed when they spit again. This treatment is simple but effective.

Redemption also features J. Cole, SZA, and Jeremih.