Jay Rock’s latest album, Redemption, plays out like a harrowing thriller movie, following the moves of Eastside Johnny as he tries to leave the game behind. Unfortunately for him, in his new video from the album, “ES Tales,” he begins to discover just how hard that can be, as the lines between reality and the 8-bit fantasy representation of his hustling life begin to intersect in some surreal ways.
The video, directed as always by TDE’s own Dave Free and Jack Begert, who also shot the video for “King’s Dead,” follows Rock as he roams an 8-bit, animated version of his native Watts and the Nickerson Gardens housing projects where he grew up. As the perspective shifts between live-action shots and pixelated caricatures of the people he encounters, it becomes clear that the video game visuals are being used to metaphorically refer to the other type of “game,” where hand-to-hand exchanges and shootouts with the fuzz are day-to-day possibilities. In the end of the video, Jay begins to find himself becoming just another player in the game before abruptly waking up and realizing that he has other opportunities in front of him and he’s left that life behind, though he knows he’s still haunted by its effects and the paranoia that follows.
Redemption is out now via Top Dawg Entertainment. Get it here.