Swedish duo jj sound like angels possessed by benevolent Young Money spirits. Made up of Elin Kastlander and Joakim Benon, the duo has been spreading the gospel of hip-hop into a language Scandinavia knows well since their first release in 2009: dream pop. Their brand is consistent; they piece together lyrics drawing lines from Drake, Lil Wayne, Kanye and even The Terminator 2, laid over accessible, light-as-air melodies. While pop artists at every level conveniently borrow elements of hip-hop culture without making them interesting, jj's project stands out. By re-contextualizing some of the most recognizable phrases of the current pop culture landscape, like "You can't tell me nothing," and "Come with me if you want to live," they attempt to make them timeless.
After releasing two eponymous albums four years ago, their latest, V, was highly anticipated. It dropped in August, and today we're premiering a brand new video for "Dynasti."
"It's an invitation to party," Benon says. A collection of cinematically-shot symbols fill the loose narrative, pianos laid out in a V burn to the ground, Kastlander bleeds from the mouth draped in shaman-esque clothing at the end of a long journey. A tribal dance around the fire takes place that would make any of the kids in Lord of the Flies quiver. It feels like it could be a sampling of M. Night Shyamalan's latest flick. "That's what we always want to do," Kastlander says. "Make a movie with the whole album. It's going to be longer. We are just taking it one step at a time."
They didn't go into it with a fully formed treatment, though. The video is a collaboration with two of the duo's friends, directors Olivia Kastebring and Fabian Sigurd. They chose the location, a "giant sandbox," as Fabian describes just a few hours outside of Stockholm. "The paradox with this dynasty, is that it's not set in time and now it's up to the future to take care of it," Olivia says.
V is out now on Secretly Canadian/Sincerely Yours. Read an extensive feature on jj over on Pigeons & Planes right now. She also laced us with the super unorthodox treatment they put together for the film. Check it out below, and watch the trippy video for "Dynasti."
this is the dynasti when 26 looks back at 24
this is the dynasti when all we wanted was more
this is the dynasti before we grew older
this is the dynasti before you sent no°5 in a zip-folder
this is the dynasti before that last harry potter movie
this is the dynasti before daft punk went groovie
this is the dynasti before the seasons of game of thrones
and before pussy riot entered "holy"zones
this is the dynasti before someone told us sky is the limit
and we rented that sky lift, just to get a wider image
this is the dynasti before sad boys lost gravity
this is the dynasti before someone taught us about naivety
this is the dynasti before they spelled those contracts and wanted us to sign fuzz
and before we begged stole and borrowed everything they never offered us
this is the dynasti before someone told us about money
this is the dynasti before our friends made us richer than honey
this is the dynasti before we knew that this video would be impossible without them
and before we knew our friendship would last until the end
this is the dynasti before hate stroke Showan
this is the dynasti before game was changed by Shyman
this is the dynasti before the world was crying too shy
this is the dynasti before we could go on like nothing happened
this is the dynasti before the streets belonged to us
this is the dynasti before we joined forces
and before bush was fired by moses
this is the dynasti before fågelsången and that twitter
this is the dynasti before you prayed to jesus but bought him on glitter
this is the dynasti before you got a bank deposit box and locked it in
this is the dynasti before we found it on blocket and joined linkedin
this is the dynasti before they dreamt about you and me
this is the dynasti before dean met me
this is the dynasti before we fell apart
this is the dynasti before we were a part of it all
this is the dynasti before
this is the dynasti now
let's get ready for some mumbo jumbo no° 5