News: J. Cole Says Mission Accomplished: "I Wanted To Come & Strike A Nerve"

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 11:55PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Roc Nation's J. Cole recently spoke out on his new "Crooked Smile" music video and why he placed so much emphasis on going with a message-driven Born Sinner visual.

Cole discussed the music video tale's ultimate goal and how slain child Aiyana Stanley-Jones steered its decision.

"I wanted to come and strike a nerve with this video. It just so happened at the same time 'Fruitvale Station' came out -- the story about Oscar Grant. I watched that movie and I cried the entire movie," Cole told MTV News at the iHeart Radio Music Festival, of the critically acclaimed drama released in July. Filled with fiery emotion, Cole wanted to tell a story that would shed light on police brutality and the injustices that young people of color face on a continuing basis. "I never forgot about this little girl Aiyana Stanley-Jones, I never forgot about her story when it happened a few years ago," he said. "I definitely wanted to dedicate this video to her and get more people to know about her story." (MTV)

Along with posting a direct link to Cole's latest Born Sinner visual, R&B superstar Rihanna gave him props for putting out a strong message-driven music video a few days ago.

"In LOVE with this video! Thank U @JColeNC for the beautiful message in this art piece #pleasereconsideryourwarondrugs http://smarturl.it/CrookedSmileVideo ...," RiRi tweeted September 22. (Rihanna's Twitter)

Cole uses his new music video to tackle real-life problems like racial profiling and drugs.

J. Cole has premiered the video for "Crooked Smile," and there's nothing to smile about when watching the heavy narrative unfold. The song is a pleasant bit of self-empowerment, but the video has an even bigger message, taking on racial profiling and the war on drugs. Dedicated to Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a seven-year-old killed during a police raid in Detroit in 2010, the Sheldon Candis-directed clip features a plea from Cole at the end: "Please reconsider your war on drugs." Though the track features TLC, T-Boz and Chilli aren't in the visual, which depicts two family stories that converge during a raid. Midway through the song, as tragedy unfolds, the song drops out and a murky version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays, echoing the sentiments of Cole's "Miss America." Watch the social commentary up top. (Idolator)

The rap star recently revealed he wanted to re-shoot the visual.

J. Cole's 'Crooked Smile' single just cracked the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the German-born MC decides to keep the momentum going with the release of the official video. The TLC-assisted track appeared on Cole's sophomore album 'Born Sinner' released back in June. Originally the video was shot in the streets of Brooklyn in early July but Cole chose to scrap the whole thing and re-shoot it. He told MissInfo: "It came out nice but it just didn't come out exactly how I wanted. It's such an important song so I want the visual to match. If this was my first video than I would have panicked." (Direct Lyrics)

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Check out J. Cole's "Crooked Smile" music video:

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