While there are a lot of them releasing every week, music videos appear to be a lost art. While some artists deliver original and clever concepts, it appears commonplace for many videos to feature rapping to the camera, street scenes, and the cliché models and entourage.
Two artists who defy this trend are Drake and J. Cole. Two of Rap’s biggest stars, these label-owners use visuals to make impact—almost each and every time. For Drake, he can drive conversation in simpler visuals, implement thoughtful (and generous) concepts in others, and art pieces that become the fabric of visual pop culture. Cole is different. He leans into symbolism with many of his works. Jermaine can be a minimalist too, with his words being the most compelling part of a highly-publicized music video.
This week, these two artists announced they are touring together. The It’s All A Blur Tour is produced by OVO and Dreamville, and finds two of Hip-Hop’s superstars of the last 15 years sharing a bill. In honor of the announcement (which follows a joint Dreamville Festival performance in 2023), the pair released their “First Person Shooter” video from October’s For All The Dogs. Cole calls it “the craziest video [I have] ever seen.” It is directed by Gibson Hazard (Lil Uzi Vert, Billie Eilish, 6LACK), and features references to The Office, Michael Jackson, Spider-Man memes, and more.
The video begins with actor Brian Baumgartner, who played “Kevin Malone” on The Office, leaning into the NBC series role. The video also includes another reference to the show, with Drake and Cole playing an intense game of ping-pong, spoofing an episode. That suggests the fierce competition between the two collaborators who both broke out near the same time and were developed by two rival/collaborators: Lil Wayne and JAY-Z.
Two of the best rappers are throwing huge plays at ping-pong spoofing The Office, before shifting to mimicking Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo having a game of chess. This implies that two Hip-Hop athletes celebrate their rivalry and competition through rapping as well as strategy.
The visual suggests these two titans are one-in-the-same, with the Spider-Man pointing meme. Cole commands this court, signaling his love of basketball, while Drake channels Michael Jackson, with a segment featuring a bedazzled glove.
In a quiet year for music videos, Drake and Cole seem to have the one to beat.
The It’s All A Blur Tour Dates are as follows:
01-18 Denver, CO – Ball Arena
01-19 Denver, CO – Ball Arena
01-22 San Antonio, TX – Frost Bank Center
01-25 Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center
01-29 New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
01-30 New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
02-02 Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
02-07 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
02-08 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
02-12 St. Louis, MO – Enterprise Center
02-16 Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
02-20 Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center
02-21 Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center
02-24 Cleveland, OH – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
02-27 Buffalo, NY – KeyBank Center
03-02 Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center
03-05 Memphis, TN – FedExForum
03-10 Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
03-14 Belmont Park, NY – UBS Arena ~
03-18 State College, PA – Bryce Jordan Center ~
03-23 Sunrise, FL – Amerant Bank Arena ~
03-27 Birmingham, AL – The Legacy Arena at BJCC ~
~ without J. Cole