Yesterday Kodak Black released a politically-charged new video for “Tunnel Vision,” a graphic video that blazes through the historical racial tension and hateful white supremacy that has plagued America for centuries. In the clip, a white man who is literally wearing the Confederate flag on his jacket heads out into a hunting ground, where he takes aim at a black man.
Instead of shooting and killing the black man, the white man’s gun jams, and the black man attacks him, assuming an easy dominance. But just when the black man is about to use a nearby American flag to choke the white man to death — who, remember, would’ve happily shot and killed him– a young girl appears and asks the pair to stop. Right at that moment, the video ends.
We spoke with director Michael Garcia about the impetus behind the visual, and how it works with the track itself, which lyrically focuses on Black’s recent struggles with the law, and his need to decide what kind of life he wants for himself. Black recently served jail time for two drug charges, and a sexual battery charge — with graphic, damning details in the released warrant — is still outstanding.
He may end up facing more jail time for this case when it reaches court, but for now, he’s out on bail and releasing fiercely political statements like the “Tunnel Vision” video. The video concept was Garcia’s idea and it was his first time working with Kodak, but clearly, their creative partnership is a powerful one. Read our conversation with Garcia about how he came up with his vision for the video, breaking down the cycle of hate, and the inclusion of those burning crosses.
How did you guys come up with the conceit for the video and the plotline for it? Was it mostly your idea or did Kodak come to you with a concept?
When I first heard the record I thought to myself Kodak was perfect for this message. Being from South Florida myself, I really align with his message of struggle the inner city youth feels down here. It literally hit me the second I heard the line “They wanna see you in a penitentiary.” I knew this was the right timing for a statement like this to be made and I also wanted to give Kodak a different look than he’s had in prior videos. I knew it was controversial and edgy — but so is Kodak. That’s what was so perfect to me about it all. When I found out he loved the concept it showed me how brave he was an artist. I am real grateful to him for allowing me to become aligned with his movement and offer the full support of his resources to make it happen.
People don’t really expect a political statement like this from Kodak Black, why do you think he wanted to make a statement like this now?