Director Nabil loves juxtaposition. For his video of James Blake and Chance the Rapper's collaborative track "Life Round Here", Nabil took the black and white juxtaposition to a level that borders on gauche.
Nabil's artistic vision was to bring Blake and Chance together in an old school lowrider cruising the countryside of England. Pass.
While the video is stylish in its black and white setting with ravens eating seeds from the white leather interrior of the lowrider, Nabil goes overboard with his theme. Black priest next to white nun. Young black male walking old white woman. Young black male being beat up by old white man. What's with the Somalian pirates and the hookers outside a gated home?
It's designed to question, but all that's questionable is why do this? Why make this about race? We like "Life Round Here" because it's an unexpected collaboration and that is not to say unexpected because James Blake is a white musician and Chance is a black rapper. It's because James Blake is an overseas musican that makes progressive r&b/electronica and Chance The Rapper is a gruf rapper from Chicago who could be labeled progressive as well, but certainly not electronic leaning. This song works because Chance brings his emotive range to a song style that can't be traced to his output thus far. This works because James Blake and Chance The Rapper were on one another's radar and connected artistically to complete a song that Blake felt was unfinished.