Los Angeles based recording artist Jordan Raf was last featured on EARMILK late last year when he dropped an exquisite loosie titled "Better Now" (following the release of his debut album Double Negative back in 2015). Jordan has since been treating his fans with miscellaneous singles in preparation for the release of his sophomore project Heaven, which includes the Best Picture produced standout "Scales of St. Michael".
A few days ago, Jordan Raf unveiled the traumatic visual for the single directed and edited by acclaimed filmmaker Kristoffer Borgli. The visual features Jordan Raf as he is continuously taunted, humiliated, and tormented psychologically and physically by his brolic co-star Frank Yang. It is one of the most gut-wrenching audiovisual experiences I have witnessed this year and is an apparent metaphor for the kind of public degradation & suffering that modern artists tend to endure for the sake of their craft. In a comment to The Fader magazine, Jordan Raf explains:
A lot of what I was trying to explore in my second real album is the concept of an objective moral truth to the world as far as what is good or bad, what my true values are, and what the people around me consider general acceptable behavior from a basic humanistic standpoint. One of the main ways we have done this historically is through the proxy of religion. St. Michael in Catholicism, from what little my dumbass knows, is the general of God's army, the figure that weighs your heart on his scales to see whether you get into heaven or hell. Although it may be hard to decipher my lyrics sometimes, the content I wrote is basically questioning what the people around me truly fight for and, especially being in Los Angeles for as long as I have, coming up disappointed.
This video is kind of the fucking opposite. It's truly a sensationalist cluster fuck of my body actually getting destroyed so that I could somehow get on the Instagram explore page, disregarding any respect for myself. The wonderful Frank Yang being the main antagonist showing true malice in his character and also during the filming of the whole thing. The pool guy where we shot [was] literally staring, crying when he watched me getting pissed on. The housekeeper on location quit. We are banned from the San Diego County Fair for the rest of our lives. Scariest of all we had to do that Russian roulette take multiple times. Kris, the real genius behind all of this, who I have developed a beautiful friendship with this past year, explains the complexities of his world building and true intent behind this film better than I ever could below. But enjoy! I sacrificed my body for you all much like all the martyrs that came before me.
Be sure to indulge in Jordan Raf's upcoming Heaven LP when it is released this fall.