Family reunions can be joyous events but there is often plenty of tragedy behind the celebration. 21 Savage‘s beautifully-shot video for “A Lot,” from his latest album I Am > I Was explores this idea in depth, intercutting shots of the day-to-day, behind-the-scenes problems plaguing his family’s celebration. Guest rapper J. Cole plays a similar role here as both watchful observer and reluctant participant, reflecting the theme of his verse. Check it out above.
The video, directed by Aisultan Seitov, opens with the family taking a group portrait on the lawn of a massive mansion, where they share a lavish meal and trade conversation, with uncles cutting a rug and aunties laughing at their antics. However, amid the jubilant celebration, each family member is silently dealing with their own problems, from drug addiction and depression to the harrowing consequences of street life and incarceration. The narrative is just ambiguous enough to leave whether these scenes are from the past or the future hazy, further emphasizing its message to live for the moment and enjoy those closest to you.
I Am > I Was landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after a two-week release delay when 21 forgot to drop it, giving him his first No. 1 of his career. He is also nominated for his first two Grammys alongside Post Malone thanks to their collaboration on “Rockstar.”