The success of 2016’s The Empty Bank drew a great deal of attention to Maryland’s Jay IDK. Blending themes of materialism, power struggles, and more into a masterfully articulated set of tracks, the album bore a similar feeling to IDK’s previous hit project, Subtrap. Both albums draw their success from Jay’s ability as a lyricist and vocalist.
With the release of his self-directed video for “Boy’s Innocence,” a cornerstone of The Empty Bank, Jay adds visual construction to his growing skill set. The track sees Jay team with Fat Trel to spit poignant and meaningful bars over an unnerving instrumental. Produced by Lo-Fi and Lyntee, the song mixes choral solos, gliding piano, and colorful saxophone to create a disquietingly religious undertone. Rapping about the cult of money and its effect on the world, Jay weaves narrative and commentary without mincing any words.
The visuals echo these ideas. Donning a ski mask, IDK moves from setting to setting, blending into the background as much as he dominates it. Appearing everywhere from a mountainside to a church, IDK captures the conflicts he expounds in his lyrics. He goes in and out of focus, a rare spot of vibrance in the snow at some points and a mere silhouette at others. The video employs abrupt cuts, splicing in negative frames and overlays of dollar bills so quickly its easy to miss them. The result is a video that, like the song it represents, is both encapsulating and alarming.
Jay IDK is here to stay. Stream the video below and revisit The Empty Bank.