His focus is much more on storytelling than simply clever lines and smooth delivery.
On Monday, Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett added another layer to the cake of his recent climb to fame, releasing the video for his song "Roof Gone" off his February album Restoration of an American Idol. The video was made in partnership with Urban Outfitters' Pride collection, with whom Bennett partnered with after his announcement the day before his 21st birthday in January that he is bisexual. All proceeds from the Pride collection will go to GLSEN, which works towards providing safe schools and environments for LGBTQ students. The video is also part of the UO Music Video series, which features music videos from artists like Perfume Genius, Charli XCX, and Porches alike.
"Roof Gone" was directed by Austin Vesely, who is known for directing not only several of Bennett's brother Chance the Rapper's music videos but also the 2016 film Slice (which starts Chance). The video revolves around Bennett, alternately seated in or standing against a nostalgic ride with its top down. Feelings of melancholy and disappointment, the song's primary themes, are well-suited to its nighttime stargazing setting, and Vesely's deep blue-toned lights finish off the look. Occasional flashes of red do well to highlight undercurrents of anger and play with ideas of ambulance lights over the line "Call your boy when you needed some CPR."
"Whole day hotboxing inside your car, just to wake up and see you gazing at stars."
The woman in the video, Bennett's presumed former object of affection, is constantly either in pale lighting behind Bennett or laid out in the back seat of his car. The physical distance and literal wall between the two give off a strong impression of figurative distance and phantoms from the past. The few moments that feature the woman alone show her dancing while pointedly not looking towards Bennett, her loose-fitting blouse seeming even more like the sheets that children use for ghost costumes.
The video itself keeps up Bennett's flair for filmography with his songs, following his 2017 short film Broad Shoulders set to the music from his 2015 LP of the same name. Just shy of 15 minutes long, the film follows Bennett's slow heartbreak, and makes strong use of monologues and silent sequences as well. Before that, his most recent music video is for "Happy Place," released a year ago, and "New Chevy" a year before that. Both videos are much more like what one would expect from a younger artist - focused mostly on status, girls, and having a good time with his crew. From Broad Shoulders forward, though, it's clear that Bennett is taking his style in a different direction. His focus is much more on storytelling than simply clever lines and smooth delivery.
The video will surely be a great tool for Urban Outfitters to use while promoting their Pride collection, and the timing is appropriate with Chicago's Pride Parade taking place this year on June 25, two days after Bennett is scheduled to perform for UO in the city.