Brooklyn-based apocalyptic rap trio Flatbush Zombies returns with “Afterlife,” a menacing new single produced by an unexpected collaborator: James Blake, who the band met in 2018 after finding out he was a fan. Erick the Architect connected with Blake on Twitter, then the four met up after a Flatbush Zombies show in Los Angeles and began collaborating. Despite his own music’s moodiness, or perhaps because of it, Blake captures exactly the sort of “impending doom” vibe the groups works best with, while the song’s accompanying visual adds another dimension to their nihilistic energy.
Directed by Arnaud Bresson, the video uses stereotypical rap video adornments like strippers, guns, and hedonistic abandon, but shot with an eerie X-ray effect that truly makes the group like zombies. Bresson explained the trick in the press release for the video, saying, “Today, there is no technology that x-ray films a living being without endangering it, so we worked hand in hand with a post-production company to develop a technical device that would allow us to achieve a similar effect. We used multi-camera tracking, recorded the positions and movements of our characters to extract and apply to our 3D compositions. It took four months of work to find the perfect style.”
It was time well-spent, as the video creates the perfect complement to the Zombies’ ominous raps. Catch up with their 2020 EP Now, More Than Ever.
Watch Flatbush Zombies’ “Afterlife” video above.