J. Cole Tells Story Behind Miguel’s ‘Power Trip’ ‘Murder’
J. Cole has a dark side and on Wednesday (April 11) hip-hop fans had a chance to see more of it than they knew existed within the ultimately laidback Roc Nation emcee.
The video for ‘Power Trip’ features a liquored up J. Cole, stalking the “girl of his dreams,” waiting on her man to head to work and snatching him up, in order to deliver the eternal fade, then bury him in the woods just outside Fayetteville, NC where Cole is from.
It’s insane, but it makes sense if the listener has heard the popular track ‘Dreams’ from Cole’s 2009 mixtape, ‘The Warm Up.’ That initial cut prefaced everything that he actually ended up doing in this one.
Miguel teamed up with the emcee once again for ‘Power Trip,’ and although it’s usually a given that the featured artist appear in a song’s visual, this one would be a bit trickier because of the song’s content.
Cole told MTV that he was explaining the concept to the directors, Nabil and Mike Piscitelli, and his manager Mark Pitts, hoping that they got the gist of his idea. “I told them, ‘I got the concept for the video,” he recalled. “Really it’s not a performance video, so I don’t even know if Miguel could fit in here.”
Putting the story onscreen without it being far too much would prove to be a challenge. Particularly, getting Miguel to sign on as the mark was one tidbit that Cole said made his team nervous.
Cole continued, explaining, “This is the only way he could fit in the video. ‘Check it out; it sounds crazy, but hear me out.”
He says when he told Miguel’s team about the plan to kill the “boyfriend” who’d be played by the R&B crooner, they were skittish.
“A week goes by,” he recalls, “I’m like, ‘What’s up with Miguel? I haven’t heard nothing back, we’re tryna move on the video, get the location, get the dates,’ and everybody’s real hesitant, like, ‘Oh we haven’t gotten a chance to pitch it to him,’ and I finally realize what’s happening …”
“Nobody has the balls to go to Miguel and tell him,” he said plainly.
Upon realizing this, Cole simply called himself.
“I was really hype explaining it to him,” he shared, “After I tell him the concept I say, ‘I want you to be the boyfriend, getting murdered,’ and he was just like ‘It’s crazy you say that because right as you were telling me the story, [I] thought I should be the boyfriend, I should be the one getting killed.'”
“It’s art,” he said. “We’re just playing a role, and Miguel is a true artist, so he got it right away. It’s not gonna mess up his image; if anything, it makes him look real ’cause he would do that role so willingly.”
Watch J. Cole’s ‘Power Trip’ Video