It’s not often discussed, but Burna Boy’s dedication to putting out compelling visuals has been part of what makes him a standout act. Depending on who you ask, he hasn’t always hit the nail on the head (e.g. the controversy that trailed the video for “YE”), however, his portfolio includes undeniable classics such as the videos for “Run My Race”, “Don Gorgon”, “Heaven’s Gate”, “Dangote” and more. Last month, the singer dropped the video for ‘Twice As Tall’ standout, “Monsters You Made”, a rousing set of visuals that matches the anarchist tone central to his burning socio-political rant.
Going on with the rollout for his acclaimed fifth studio album, Burna has shared the video for the sublime, Stormzy-assisted cut, “Real Life”, and it continues to flaunt the superstar’s knack for bringing well though-out visuals to our screens. From its first minutes, it’s apparent that “Real Life” is a short film masquerading in the form of an “official music video”. It brings to mind “Thuggin’/Darko”, where beauty and bleakness collided in a sterling video that casted Burna as a multi-layered character who shares his time between being a father and thugging in the streets.
The Meji Alabi-directed short film for “Real Life” rehashes this narrative in a more accessible manner, while also laying out a much rounder storyline. Although there’s shots of Burna and Stormzy performing their lyrics, they are mostly scattered throughout the central narrative, which follows a young man as he goes through the day-to-day rigours of being a brother, an expectant father and a gang member. Deep into the short film, he’s set upon and stabbed by a rival gang, inevitably leading to his death. What follows is a moving spoken word piece that mourns losses like these and the effect it has on loved ones and future generation who get to inherit the trauma and beef that ensues.
In as much as “Real Life” deftly decries violence, it’s a reminder of life’s preciousness. As Stormzy sings: “Real life is for living, use this life that you’re living, be free”.
Watch the short film here.
Featured Image Credits: YouTube/Burna Boy
Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Vigro Deep Songs at him @dennisadepeter