After sharing his "Freedom" single in January, Jussie Smollett has returned with a new video for "Catch Your Eye," a new track featuring Swizz Beatz. In the mesmerizing clip, the Empire star is shown in a neon-lit backdrop covered in patterned paintings from Nigerian visual artist Laolu NYC. Over a somber loop, Smollett makes an impassioned appeal.
As he explained to The FADER over email, the video for the irresistible track was inspired by classic Hype Williams imagery:
The song is a head bop. It reminds me of some of my favorite songs from the 90’s. I feel like Mary J. & Method Man or Case & Foxxy or Total, Kim or one of the Bad Boy fam would be vibing to Catch Your Eye. To have one of the true Kings of Hip Hop like Swizz leading this with me is just bananas. With the visual, I wanted to take it even further. I was inspired by Hype Williams film, BELLY and really just Hype in general. To me he helped set the tone for what we see visually in everything nowadays. Period. But I also wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some stream of consciousness. The theme of this video, as is the theme of my album and every visual I do, is the deep, unapologetic love I have for my people.
I want to show beautiful black and brown folks just loving on each other from all walks of life. And I will show those different types of love every chance I get. I’m in an industry that attempts to convince you that your conforming will somehow convert into success. I reject that as a false narrative. I’m not really down to give up myself, my people or anything in between that I love. The video starts with the words “When you lose your tribe… You lose yourself.” It Ends with “Come home.” You can watch this visual a million ways and see something different each time. So I hope that when people see it, they vibe out, enjoy the rhythm, while finding a way to look deeper. Yeah man…I’m just tryna Catch Your Eye.
Watch the video for "Catch Your Eye" above. Smollett's debut album Sum of My Music is due out March 2.