Photo Credit: Owen Ela
Musicians are always striving to introduce different technologies and state of the art equipment to help them create an even more elevated experience for their fans, attempting to bring the listener into their world. Music videos was an outlet that provided an visual element to the song in the artist’s mind, constantly introducing new elements to help share the visual idea as well as the audio. Run the Jewel, underground rapper duo composed of Ei-P and Killer Mike, are trying to push the envelope of this medium with their brand new music video “Crown”, which they unveiled earlier today through the NY Times’ Virtual Reality App, and later on YouTube.
According to Consequence of Sound, the pair (who most recently played the Coachella stage) decided to release this latest video to support their most recent album RTJ2, which was released October 2014, and houses the music video’s title track “Crown”, creating an experience that many other artist are trying to duplicate. The duo has shown quite the feat of excellence by turning “Crown” into a full virtual reality experience. Oscar-nominee Peter Martin directed the music video for Run The Jewels, and is the first of many VR projects that are in the works from the rap duo.
The music video works using any type of virtual reality headset, putting the wearer smack dead in a state of complete immersion in the song and video. A press release noted “the effect is immediate and enveloping, placing the viewer directly into the unfolding scenario surrounded on all sides by the story’s characters,” it continues “The video illuminates the poignant and powerful dual narratives of Killer Mike and El-P, bringing their verses to life across a stark, cinematic landscape”. A similar experience was uploaded on to YouTube later on in the day, providing the new 360 degree experience to the viewer on their computer, all you need to do is click and drag the screen throughout the music video and you can watch it as if you were right next to Ei-P and Killer Mike themselves.
Run the Jewels is also planning on releasing their own app called “VRTJ”, which will include many VR music videos, as well as Art the Jewels, which is a virtual art gallery, live performance videos, and much more. For national Record Store Day on April 16th the duo released customized VRTJ cardboard viewers that could be used with VRTJ.
Continuing to push the envelope as far as music videos and fan experiences, it looks like Run the Jewels is going to blow up the musical world into a whole new realm for their fans. What will their next album hold with this new technology they are using? it would seem only great things are on the horizon.