Detroit rapper Danny Brown has become a film auteur's dream on the low. His late-2016 release Atrocity Exhibition, a dark, cinematic trip into the MC's mental abyss, continues to spawn similarly compelling visuals. Earlier this year, actor Jonah Hill directed the video for "Ain't It Funny," in which Brown portrays the drug-addicted uncle in a satirical spoof of a white '80s-sitcom family. In "Lost," we have its stark opposite.
"Lost" opens with a close-up of a woman vomiting down a drain and only intensifies from there. Filmed by Matilda Finn, a photographer and director largely influenced by Asian cinema, the video is shot in a surreal, black-and-white style that favors Finn's predilection for dream sequences. But beware, the imagery is as explicit as Brown's lyrics.
A narrow project hallway gives way to the tight confines of an apartment kitchen, where a mom-and-pop drug operation is making money, and mania, hand over fist. A half-clothed woman is the cook; Brown is the petty dealer-turned-narrator. But Finn's cinematography is the star, as sped-up footage and fuzzy angles mirror the hyperreality depicted in Brown's rhymes. In a song that pays verbal homage to director Stanley Kubrick and Asian-American adult actress Asa Akira, "Lost" mashes up two visual extremes — grim satire and human excess — for a disturbingly ill effect.