Directed by Nabil, the 10-minute visual takes us through a bizarre series of events, soundtracked by snippets of the EP’s songs. It begins with Staples wrapping up a generic music video shoot, then taking a hallucinatory cab ride to a hotel with heavy The Shining vibes. The hook of the EP’s title track (“Is it real?/ Is it? Is it real?”) becomes more poignant as the Long Beach rapper starts unraveling, catching glimpses of Kurt Cobain, Tupac, and Amy Winehouse in the hotel hallways. As the Andre 3000-featuring “War Ready” plays, crazed fans clamor for a piece of him, and the clip soon takes a bleak, startling, and ultimately deadly turn.
Speaking to Zane Lowe last week, Staples reflected on how the trappings of celebrity inspired the EP, saying, “You’re not a person when you make music. You’re a link. They just want to click it. It gets kinda crazy out here.”