Evan Dale // Dec 27, 2020
Much of this year felt like the end of days. In a calendar fueled by a battle against the pandemic, police brutality, climate change, and ultimately a reckoning with mortality and morality, there was more than an air of apocalyptic undertone fueling the day-to-day life of just about everyone on this planet. And yet, much of the response in the good fights against the bad brought to light a failing of a daze – a lack of clarity – that so many fortunate people had been under for too long. There was no longer any hiding beneath a veil of ignorance when it came to the fragility of life, the corruption of the world’s social constructs, and the reality that things not only need to change, but need to change fast. And as a part of that response, art and music, as they always do, made statements of their own, utilizing culture and the genius of human creativity to make sure anyone watching – anyone listening – learned, grew, and understood something new about where we’re all at, and where we all need to be going.
No single work of visual art coalescing with the auditory – no single music video – was able to convey more a sense of what 2020 will ultimately come to mean than one from the unparalleled collective that is Spillage Village. End Of Daze is anthemic, deep, and painfully representative of that pain so many felt this year. But it’s also hopeful, bright, and eye-opening. At the end of the day, End Of Daze – as a single and even more so as a music video – is simply necessary.
Putting aside the social meaning behind the video for just a moment, and focusing only on the music, the single, which was the leading release towards the eventual drop of Spillagion, earmarked a return of Spillage Village. The East Atlanta collective birthed the early careers of JID, Mereba, EARTHGANG, Jurdan Bryant, Hollywood JB, and more before nearly all of them found their ways to Dreamville and the illustrious release of Revenge of the Dreamers III in the Summer of 2019. The return of such a powerful crew after they’ve all gone on to find such overwhelming success in their own rights, spoke to just how much their foundations mean to all of them. And returning in the way they did proved that they weren’t holding back, but instead aiming to put together some of the most unique, thought-provoking, and important work of the year.
They did so to their zenith with End Of Daze.
With verses coming from everyone mentioned above, the track is a long one, and oftentimes in scenarios dictated by length, music videos can lose their way or lose their viewer’s focus. But quick verses sustained by long visual cuts in an atmospheric, gorgeous, yet unnerving setting, ultimately holds the eyes of anyone watching. Most of the video takes place somewhere in the woods where obscure pieces of everyday furniture set the stage for the whole crew – minus Mereba who performs her verse from the forest’s television – to speak their peace from the comforts of home. It’s relatable for those who hadn’t left their home in so long at quarantine’s peak, yet simultaneously an escape to nature and to solace from the hellscape of 2020. More hints of the everyday and the new normal come in and out of frame – facemasks, automatic rifles, and obsession with screens. All of it juxtaposes nature, poetry, and simply the poetic nature of humanity through art.
Even if End Of Daze weren’t an anthemic homage to the bad that 2020 brought to light and the fight to open people’s eyes to it, it would be in the discussion for Video of the Year simply for its aesthetic and heavy-hitting lineup. The creativity that all of Spillage Village bring to the table is obvious, but when it comes together on display in a single work, like End Of Daze, their collective genius is undeniable.
And yet, End Of Daze ultimately did more than breathe of the creative competence of its artistry. It breathes truth, honesty, pain, and relatability into the lives of anyone watching, turning the apocalyptic nature of a year we all just want to end into an ultimate message of positivity, strength, and overcoming in the face of so much adversity. And for that – for what the entire audiovisual project captures in a year that needs to be documented from a unique perspective – for what the video represents in hip-hop, in Neo-Soul, in R&B, and in Black culture – End Of Daze is indisputably 2020’s Video of the Year.
See our Comprehensive List of 2019's Best Videos here: