By Courtney E. Smith
A$AP Twelvyy gets his chance to step into the spotlight with the A$AP Mob’s latest, “Xscape”. The video, set largely in Times Square but with other shadowy parts of NYC popping up, also features a surprise cameo from Puff Daddy to match the track’s shout out.
The video has a very Escape from New York-inspired look: everything is darker and grungier than it appears in real life, with Times Square dimmed down to the least maximum wattage. It hints at the sinister side of the city that seemingly disappeared after Giuliani cleaned up the joint, driving down crime rates and Disney-fying the heart of the city, which used to be porn central.
But here we get shots of the BQE at night, dirty deals under bridges and talk of bullet proof vests and Tek-9s. Visually it attempts to confront a lot of imagery that, historically speaking, strikes fear into the hearts of white folk. It’s aggressive in its illicitness, but paired with the chorus of “I just wanna get away” gives the impression that this is not the American dream.
The question this video leaves hanging is: are the A$AP Mob the villains or the good guys– or people who live in a world that isn’t that black and white?