Anti – [NNAMDï]

I often discuss how creative and innovative artists from Chicago seem to naturally be, but that goes hand in hand with utilizing personal experiences within their sonic creations. It is typically recognized in drill music when these emcees share tales from the trenches that they lived through while growing up in rough areas of the city, but violence and pain don’t always wear the same mask. NNAMDï is someone who often brings different sounds to life in a way that is imaginative but also introspective.

After taking a much-needed musical pause, his upcoming album Please Have A Seat is shaping up to be quite a revival for him, and the singles I have heard thus far have me eagerly awaiting the project’s October 7th release date. Just the other day, he released another self-produced song off of the album entitled “Anti” which is mystifying and overly enticing, but after teaming up with Austin Vesley once again for a music video to follow up the wonderful visual for his last single “I Don’t Wanna Be Famous”, I left myself no choice but to talk about this remarkable motion picture.

Opening up at a children’s party, a woman is complaining about the less-than-exciting entertainment that is being displayed by NNAMDï in a mascot costume. Soon enough, a creepy individual distracts the musician from his duties, escaping into darkness underneath a home prior to NNAMDï following the guy into the dim abyss. From here, the multifaceted talent searches for the character in an eerie setting, never finding him as the guy continues to evade NNAMDï’s grasp.

As the video moves on, the unsettling eeriness of the plot begins to overtake everything as he shows up at a dinner where two blank-faced parents sit at a table waiting to feast. It turns out that the aforementioned guy who was taunting the emcee is somehow tied to the two others, so after getting himself cleaned up for the meal, NNAMDï proceeds to beat him senseless before sitting down to eat with the group.

While this video is as well-shot and interesting as I could’ve ever hoped, it is hard to describe other than saying that the unnerving scenes combined with the captivating downward spiral that this song appears to head in makes you feel this unheard-of emotion that is best described by NNAMDï himself:

“I really like teetering on the edge of playful and unsettling and I think we did that with this video. The song/video is a journey through how generational and childhood trauma can manifest itself in different ways as an adult, especially if never confronted. Basically the things that help create your origin story. I’ve had this video idea since the song’s conception and Austin really brought my treatment to life.”

In addition to this eye-opening description, Austin adds:

“What excited me about adapting a treatment written by Nnamdi was that it had so many of the elements that make his music great — playfulness and surprise, some darkness and contrasts, depth in a short time frame — and also that it was clearly coming from a very personal place for him. Taking a trip through his mind is a thrill, and I’m pleased we were able to draw out this broader aspect of Nnamdi’s relationship to the song and share that.

On a technical level I’m so proud of the crew and cast of this thing for making it all happen in a single day. From sunny backyards to darkened, dilapidated hallways, everyone was on this wild ride that day and did such an amazing job keeping the narrative together and maintaining the beauty of the images.”

When two people as artistic and pensive as NNAMDï and Austin Vesley get together, it’s no surprise that magic will be made one way or another, and this music video is simply too unnervingly addictive to miss out on whatsoever.