Just days after Watch The Throne‘s commanding introductory track "No Church In The Wild" appeared in the trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby adaptation, the Jay-Z and Kanye West anthem gets a video of its own, the third from the album after Spike Jonze’s playful clip for "Otis" and West’s flashy spot for "Ni**as in Paris."
As with the track itself, the "No Church" video takes an entirely different tone from the last two videos — certainly still striking and seeking to make an impression as West and Hov do, but a far more somber one. The video begins with a scarf-clad protester lighting a Molotov cocktail and tossing it at a cabal of riot police. Full-on brawling breaks out, with horses stomping on rioters, high-pressure water cannons and cop cars set on fire—oh, and a literal elephant in the room. For anyone who has experienced or followed the madness of London, Tahrir Square, Athens, Zuccotti Park or even several weekends ago in Chicago, this scene—although highly stylized and intensified—will look familiar.
The clip is directed by Roman Gavras, who is known for coming up with some striking and seriously provocative imagery in his music videos for M.I.A. (most notably the shooting death of a red-headed kid in M.I.A’s "Born Free" video) and the Justice tour doc A Cross The Universe.