Aqeem Jones’ new video and track “DAMN” hinges on flashy charm, despite the average production

Since the rising success off the back of his debut EP, Youthy, Aqeem Jones has made sure to keep afloat in a somewhat watertight industry. It’s thanks to his proud conviction, giving the music an unavoidable ego. His new video “Damn” rides these same waves, but despite the hold he’s got over infectious beat and 21st-century flow, certain pitfalls are equally as unavoidable.

The video plays out in a sullen parking basement, and it becomes a space for director Kaseem Jones to play creatively. There’s a constant shift between the setting itself and unexpected pops of close-cut neon frames, and while it’s certainly an experimental choice, the underlying clichés cannot be ignored – the expensive cars, the flashy bling.

The track succumbs to common bass lines and average production, all the more centring around a vocal riff that falls a bit flat. In the end it comes down to follow through – Jones has the appetite to validate his artistic choices, and certainly to challenge a genre, but at what cost does that impact the music?