Damian Marley just dropped a new music video for his song “Is It Worth It?” (originally known as “Gun Man World”). This is the lead single from the upcoming “Set Up Shop Vol.2” compilation by Ghetto Youths International (the Marley brothers record label) which is set to be released on December 23rd. The song was produced by Winta James on his Rootsman Riddim. Of course the first song released on this riddim was the wildly successful “Here Comes Trouble” by Chronixx. However, I do remember that I did not clue into this fact the first time I heard the song. Once you make the connection, it’s clear the beat is the same, but Damian’s song uses a subtle piano overdub rather than the brash and blaring horns used in the Chronixx track. It’s a small thing, but it completely changes the dynamic of the songs.
Anyways, the video for Damian’s song takes on the form of a short film. It’s directed by Nabil Elderkin, who also directed the video for the song “Patience” from the Distant Relatives album. Nabil Elderkin has also done videos for other big name artists such as Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and most recently a video for a song called “Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs (an artist I was recently introduced to by my brother-in-law) which has also received critical acclaim. The video he has created for Damian’s song is actually pretty spectacular in my opinion. The video is really telling the story of the song, and it’s almost as if they were meant to co-exist. As I mentioned earlier, I had listened to the song before there was a video for it, and I while I enjoyed it, I didn’t find it to be particularly memorable. However, listening to the song while watching the video is a different experience. All of a sudden, the words take on more meaning as you see the story he is trying to tell unfold before your eyes. The fact the video appears to be filmed somewhere in the middle east also throws you for a loop while you are watching it. As reggae song, I was expecting the video to be shot somewhere in Jamaica, but as it turns out, it doesn’t really matter at all and it doesn’t distract or reduce the impact of the video in any way. In fact, you could argue the point is exactly that this type of violence is unfortunately universal, and knows no borders.