Concept One's "Smile Now, Cry Later" video is like a lowrider oldies mixtape cover come to life

Concept One's "Smile Now, Cry Later" video is like a lowrider oldies mixtape cover come to life

Over the weekend, American Trash Republic's Concept One premiered his new video for the track "Smile Now, Cry Later," from his new album, Beautiful Disaster. Directed by Jeremy "Konsequence" Pape, the clip perfectly encapsulates the duality of the Greek tragedy/comedy masks that informs the Chicano iconography that ultimately inspired the song's theme and title. Like a grittier, modern update of the Sunny & Sunliners track of the same name, Concept's cut, which features fellow ATR member Cody Beastly, deftly captures the notion of putting on a front for appearances while concealing underlying heartache, showcasing a depth and revealing a previously unseen sensitive side of the rapper in the process.

With a colorful top-to-bottom graffiti mural as a backdrop and Concept and his crew mugging in front of a line of lowriders on hydraulics for ladies whose faces are painted in the style of the comedy/tragedy masks, the video conjures a distinctive, almost-East Los Angeles vibe, like a personification of the Chicano culture depicted on those hand-drawn, charcoal illustrations seen on lowrider oldies bootleg mixtapes. Interspersed with scenes of relationships in turmoil, the video successfully embodies the theme of the song in a way that's simplistic yet artistic. Well done.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music



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