Nadia Lee Cohen has gone and done it again. This time, she’s collaborated with rap legend A$AP Rocky, directing his latest music video for Babushka Boi released earlier this week (28 August) The video marks a significant time for the rap artist following his imprisonment earlier this summer for assaulting a man in Sweden. After a highly contentious trial, ultimately culminating in a guilty verdict but no jail time, A$AP Rocky is back to making music.
Employing the renowned photographer and director Nadia Lee Cohen to direct the comeback, Babushka Boi sees the artist in her element as she adds a dose of surreal Lynchian fluorescence to the rap star’s heavy-set beats. Nodding to A$AP Rocky’s recent conflicts with the law, the short opens with a blue police van filled with anthropomorphised pigs, who are also incidentally, policemen. A derisive hint to the rapper’s experiences, the film follows the animalistic brigade of law enforcers chasing Rocky and his entourage through Nadia’s signature velveteen lens.
The idea for the film however, did not come from the rapper, but from Nadia herself who first wrote the idea three years ago. “It was intended for a project that fell through,” she tells It’s Nice That. “I kept it in my back pocket and when I met Rocky to talk about working on something together, it just seemed to be the perfect fit.” For Nadia – an international solo exhibitor and all-round master artist of glamour, surrealism and cinematography – the chance to collaborate with A$AP Rocky proved highly successful.
“We get along really well,” says Nadia. “There’s a mutual respect and a shared level of taste. He let me go a bit wild which is when I feel I get the best results.” Looking to comic books from the 1980’s (both the good and the bad) for aesthetic inspiration, Nadia combines her trademark mise-en-scene of rich, fashion-filled imagery with A$AP Rocky’s energising musical pace.
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