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Watch Now: Raz Simone - Hatred

More surprising than Raz already hyping up the release of his next album is the fact we’re finally getting visuals off his most recent project. And while Drive Theory is full of tracks that could seemingly result in cinematic short films, I’m sure Simone has plenty of reasons he’s been laying low since the release of the 12-track LP.

Regardless, Drive Theory still goes. And another album is on the way. So, Raz fans, rest easy knowing the Black Umbrella CEO has you covered.

“Hatred” serves as the first visual experience to find life off Simone’s August release, Drive Theory. The record is noteworthy for the absence of a hook, instead featuring the passionate and poetic delivery from Raz that so many have grown accustomed to over the years. With no catchy chorus to distract the listener, every word is able to strike a chord and resonate at it’s fullest potential. As is the case with any of the content Simone releases, no lyric and no bar feels as though it’s simply used as filler – each line and every switch in Raz’s flow is meticulously crafted to allow the whole product to live and breath as Simone intended.

With Jacob Hill behind the lens, the sonic experience is brought to life as viewers witness a quick but powerful story told through Raz’s lyrics. We see Simone walking with two younger men, presumably schooling them with some street knowledge. One of the most telling images in the video features Simone talking to his “students” as he walks in front of them. From my perspective, this symbolizes the self-respect and personal power Raz embodies. Without spoiling the video, one would imagine this would be a prime opportunity for these men to make a name for themselves by stabbing Simone in the back – here he is, in a vulnerable state with his back turned. Instead, they listen intently, as the OG enlightens them to some valuable lessons.

Throughout the song, Raz articulates different connections between the streets and the music industry, revealing a variety of commonalities that exist between the two. Having thrived at one, Simone has been able to take the lessons he learned building an empire on the streets and bring that wisdom to his music career. While I don’t suspect this was intended, one could go so far as to suggest the two men following Raz in the video could potentially be aspiring artists just as much as they could be aspiring gangsters.

Simone’s ability to weave and interlace different aspects of his life on wax is unquestionably reflective of his ability to do so in his real life. Taking it a step further, as has been pointed out time and time again, what we hear and see from his artistic output is a direct and very real representation of the life that exists off camera.

No word on a timeframe, but expect more new content from Simone sooner rather than later. Drive Theory is available now on all major streaming platforms. And you can read my thoughts on the album here.

Experience the Raz-directed and Jacob Hill-shot/edited “Hatred” below.

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