Pain – StackzWayne (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Videos play all sorts of roles in modern music. They used to be just a nice piece of performance to accompany the music. They then evolved through high-end art and interesting narratives and finally,  the increased availability of the technology at reasonable cost meant that the medium could be explored by a wider range of artists not just those backed up by industry cheque books. And that is when things started to get interesting.

Even today a video can be a throw away piece of promotional fluff but that seems like a missed opportunity and what artists should really be doing is making accompanying visuals to make a point, to make the listener think and to really underline the message found in the music. That is where you find StackzWayne.

If I’m being honest I would say that musically Pain doesn’t really break much new musical territory, it’s the modern sound of rap, the skittering trap percussion, the meandering bass and middle-ground electronica. Don’t get me wrong, it is cool, competent and neatly done but it is in the video that thinks really come alive. This is a song which is all about the lyrics and the video really reinforces what is being discussed and explored here. A lot of people don’t really listen to rap lyrics anymore but the video is hard to not react to. It follows the lyrics through some dark places, the imagery is striking, a mix of abstract visuals and drug-fuelled narratives, showing a world of oblivion and darkness but also one of hope and redemption.

This is a case of the visuals taking a good song and making it unavoidable, of turning an intimate narrative into a universally relatable theme, of taking a message and giving it an amazing platform to be broadcast from. Never underestimate the power of the music video in the modern world. And this an example of why.

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