Kwame releases intense, cinematic visuals for ‘TOMMY’S IN TROUBLE’ Ft. Phil Fresh & CLYPSO
In the same week he lead a far-reaching discussion on how to improve the Australian music industry, Ghana via Sydney rapper KWAME has released some brand new visuals for his latest single, ‘TOMMY’S IN TROUBLE’ featuring Phil Fresh and CLYPSO. Directed by Kwame himself and Zain Ayub, there is LOTS to discuss in this clip, so let’s dive right in.
Set in a house, the basic story line is Phil Fresh and CLYPSO have a child, born after an extensive and seemingly painful labour. The baby is born, and the nurse and Fresh looked concerned and scared, while CLYPSO looks to fall immediately in love with her child. Fast forward a few years, and the child, Tommy, played by Kwame, is shown to exhibit unknown ailments and issues, wearing bandages to represent something “wrong” with him. The Mother repeatedly defends and protects the child, while The Father continually fights with her about him, completely rejecting him as his own. One night, Tommy breaks free from his restraints, enters the kitchen, and a battle with a rolling pin between he and The Father ensues. Tommy wins the fight and then turns on The Mother as his next victim, before a brief moment in which he seems to reconsider and the clip ends.
The first thing that stands out from these visuals is the commitment from all three artists in the roles they play. @The Logies, for your consideration! Such is the belief in the clear bigger picture the song is trying to tell, both the visual and sonic conviction of Kwame, Phil Fresh and CLYPSO speak to how committed they are to the song’s, and Kwame‘s message. This song is a “moment” for Kwame, and they are pulling out all the stops to make sure it is felt in every element.
The other stand out element of this clip is the narrative itself. “TOMMY” represents flawed humanity, and the seeming imperfections we are born with. The Mother and The Father represent society’s duality and potential, one side accepting the flawed human and one completely rejecting it. While the lyrics are subjective and speak on Kwame‘s, and Fresh‘s in the second half of the song, own experiences, the messaging is all about the overcoming of systems designed to oppress. With bars from Fresh like “Turn this chip on my shoulder, to some chips at the Cas’,” and Kwame‘s “Until my family getting meals La Roux I’m in it for the kill,” they both comment on their undying striving for success not just for themselves but everyone else around them and acknowledge how far they’ve come and how far they still want to go. As the pair go bar for bar, in the video they fight with each other, each trying to wrangle the rolling pin out of the other’s hands to injure their opponent. The negative aspects of society fighting to destroy those who don’t fit its perception of what’s acceptable, while the imperfect human fights to destroy this and the systems it has put in place to keep the imperfect human down, ultimately the clip shows the triumph of the struggle of the oppressed.
However, given the clip doesn’t stop there, it shows the oppressed then turning on the society which loved “Tommy” regardless of its imperfections. The Mother has done nothing but defend “Tommy” to The Father, and yet “Tommy” turns on The Mother after destroying The Father, seemingly forgetting the difference between the two. Whether this is a commentary on the two ultimately being inseparable as they’re still “Society”, or it serves as a warning to remember those who did help, uplift and defend remains to be seen. What we do know is it does offer further insight and depth in what is already a very insightful, deep and provocative video.
We’ve repeatedly covered Kwame‘s rise to become one of the country’s most exciting artists, and with this video, he now sets his sights on the rest of the world as well. With the release of this video, Kwame once again levels up. There is no question at all now that he really is the real deal when it comes to not only delivering boundary-defying hip hop but also simultaneously bringing everyone else along with him and dismantling the systems and power structures he’s had to overcome. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there is no one doing it like Kwame right now.
‘TOMMY’S IN TROUBLE’ is the third single from Kwame‘s forthcoming EP, Please, Get Home Safe, out October 30th. Pre-order here.
Words by Emma Jones
Image: Zain Ayub