In his second music video off Born Sinner, J. Cole doesn't drop the dentist office's PSA we were all hoping for when we first heard "Crooked Teeth"—and think of all the kids' cavities he could have saved with just a rapping toothbrush!—instead delivering a story of a pot dealer and an arrest gone horribly wrong. It's heartfelt, well-made, and thoroughly depressing.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones—the person for whom the video was dedicated—was a 7-year-old girl killed in a Detroit police raid back in 2010. The officer who shot her, Joseph Weekly, later saw his involuntary manslaughter charges dropped by claiming she had been in the way of an altercation. The story was a big deal in Detroit at the time, and it's admirable that J. Cole has once again used his high-profile platform to at least bring about a few Googles of her name. I'm reminded of his Friday Night Lights' song "See World," about the tragic tale of a kid named Shaniya Davis. It's still an absolute gut-punch of a song, right up there with "Dance with the Devil" in hip-hop tracks I just can't hear again.