Kojey Radical – ‘Water (If Only They Knew)’
Poet first, then rapper, Kojey Radical’s 8 minute short hits us some kind of way. Combining nuanced spoken word with 2 signature Kojey beats, we hear Michaela Coel’s measured voice lament the exoticism under a western microscope that darker pigmentation gives rise to. In Maya Angelou’s words, there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. WATER (IF ONLY THEY KNEW) brings us a moving, fluid, and deliberate narrative that follows lovers, fighters, and the weight of Black masculinity. Director Mos Popular Human works closely with Kojey, translating body into beat, and dance into decided rhythm in a physical dialogue accompanied by rasping, husky vocals and poised visuals. There is something quietly incongruous about IOTK; a table of empty jam jars, netted white gloves, a boxing ring in the back garden… The sets are considered, strangely acceptable and largely unquestioned. They’re bizarrely plausible. The slow movement of the camera gives the illusion of being underwater, the resistance holding your limbs back and restricting forward movement, is this a comment on pausing progress? I feel this in Kojey’s lyrics ‘we had the wave like Poseidon‘. The words read as poetry turned political manifesto referencing Flint, Michigan, shooters in the churches, and origin – Kojey demands to be seen, to be listened to. I’m all ears.
Mette // firstname.lastname@example.org