Killer Mike is political. It’s not just the explicit references to Ronald Reagan or the urging his fans to “kill the police motherfuckers.” His presence in the mainstream music world is itself a statement, and a booming one at that. And while the CNN appearances are all well and good, the video for “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck),” off of the second Run the Jewels record, is perhaps the clearest distillation of his message to the world. Along with partner-in-rhyme and producer El-P and former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zach de la Rocha, Mike presents an eternal struggle with deep implications on the contemporary state of America.
The clip, starring The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Shea Whigham and Selma‘s Keith Stanfield, pits the two against one another as predatory police officer and fleeing Black man. Only there’s no rhyme or reason to the struggle–the two are locked in permanent combat, before collapsing together in the same bedroom as the video draws to a close. It’s exhausted, it’s exhausting, it’s futile. There’s no beginning or end, just a constant, Sisyphean struggle against one another. The black-and-white video should also be commended for its sound design; though initially muted, the on-screen action ramps up its intensity when household items begin to come crashing down around the Tom and Jerry chase.