J. Cole-Power Trip ft. Miguel (Video)

There are reasons why I shouldn’t (and many don’t) like this song, but it’s been an absolute fixture in my playlists since its release. As written in the audio review, it’s a laidback piece that smoothly incorporates plenty of soul elements, and from top to bottom its a well-executed slice of mainstream hip-hop.

The accompanying visual takes an easy lyrical subject matter, and adds a very watchable additional layer of storytelling. Rather than focus solely on Cole’s pining, the video takes a much darker route from the offset; the lighting almost makes it difficult to properly view, whilst the intentionally obscured early scenes create a general sense of unease and distortion that clearly helps you get into Cole’s mindset. Soon after, it becomes clear why: his targeted female is already in a relationship (with Miguel, the ‘steady, 9-5 guy’ apparently), and he literally gets rid of his competition. Rather than focusing on that action though, the video opts to spotlight Cole’s regret and guilt over what he’s done, and that helps to bring out the reflective production and some of the introspection in Cole’s raps, whilst the using the end of Miguel’s vocal sections as visual transitions makes for a striking effect. Gradually, the video gains clarity in terms of lighting and lack of camera obstruction, possibly a sign of Cole’s improving mental state, before heading back to the darkness of the opening to close. Engrossing watch throughout, and another strong Nabil-directed clip. Song available on iTunes now, the Born Sinner album on 25th June.

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