Just when you thought it might be hard for Heems to stack up against the expectations of his subtle and piercing album Eat, Pray, Thug, he conjures a video for its title song “Sometimes” that reminds the audience this is his lived experience. He is fully himself, stripped of stunting yet unerringly bold.
“Sometimes” portrays Heems in terms of his dualities without alienating viewers for their own contradictions. Sure, on the surface, colorism is at issue in the video. Eric André is a lonely chap looking for love in the best of all places: the TV.
Heems is a mirror of our society’s need for gratification and poor self-reflection, offering love through a bottle of skin-lightening cream. But beyond this sweeping allusion to André being light-but-not-light enough, Hannibal Buress being some woman’s dark fetish, Heems being somewhere in between the two, is the notion that we are all struggling with identities that do not allow for whole selves once the environment changes.
As NY rap changes its guard from heavy and somber to lighter fare and campy green screen, Heems is dragging it into a muddled but necessary conversation. Who belongs, he asks. When is it safe to be this and that? “Sometimes” declares, with certainty, that no one knows and no one is licensed to say. For that, the first vid from EPT scores a huge victory.
Check it in player above.