J. Cole’s “Crooked Smile” Video Takes On Racial Profiling & The War On Drugs: Watch
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.