The video for "A Little More," the latest single from MGK, is unapologetically intense and in-your-face, presenting a bloody image of a young woman cutting her wrists and committing suicide, and the response -- or, actually, lack of response -- of nearby onlookers.
"It's basically what the world looks like through my eyes, and it's a bunch of jabs at things going on in society," Kells told MTV News last week about the video, which dropped on Monday (May 18). "After she is dying in the middle of the street, you're paying so much attention to her, you expect the people around you to have called help, and then you look up, just to reveal that everyone is like this with their cell phones."
It's a reality -- people pulling out cell phones to record what's going on around them, rather than getting involved -- that the Bad Boy signee bemoaned.
This is the first time that the Cleveland native has been credited as the director of one of his own videos, though he says he's often handled those duties unofficially in the past.
"I've always written my videos, and I've always edited my videos, and I've kind of directed my videos -- I guess this is just the first time that I'm putting my name on it, like 'Written and Directed By,'" he explained. "It's a really easy process for me. Usually the words I say paint a picture themselves, so it's pretty easy to go off that. I have a very stylistic way of shooting -- I'm very shaky cam, rocumentary-type style. As we go, I'll start to hone in on that more."
(Warning: Video contains graphic content.)
He first put out the audio for the track in March, just a handful of months after he began gearing up for his album with the release of the video for "Till I Die." And it turns out "Till I Die" -- the people in the video, specifically, and what's happened to them in the time since -- provided much of the fuel for Kells' writing the somber-yet-uplifting "A Little More."
"'Till I Die' came out and that video came out, and months later, I go back and I look at that video and I'm like, Damn. OK, he's in jail; OK, he's shot; OK, he's dead; OK, he snitched," he said. "To the point where I was like, this is fine, because it's something that I'm used to, and it's a way of life, but it's just sad."
"So I think that I just wrote a song that kind of expressed the way I see the world now as a more mature person. Don't get me wrong, I still get sucked back into it all of the time and I'ma always be in the streets and that's something that's gonna be present in my life forever. But I wanted to shed a little bit of light -- you ever have one of those moments where you're like, 'If the world just felt what I feel now, we would be alright?' It's kind of one of those moments: Try out what it's like to not judge someone for one day, to not look down on people for one day; to have a little bit more love for the person next to you for just one day and see what comes out of it."
Between "Till I Die" and "A Little More," we've gotten a taste of what MGK has been cooking up for his sophomore album -- a mixture of rowdiness and vulnerability, if those two tracks and history are any indication -- and it sounds like we won't have to wait much longer to hear the full disc.
"Album's done; I'm about to go mix right now," he said. "If all goes as planned, man, this album should see the Grammys."
If you or anyone you know is dealing with depression and/or considering suicide, it’s extremely important to tell a parent, teacher or counselor, or call (800) 273-TALK and visit HalfofUs.com.