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Jay-Z & Kanye West Feat. Frank Ocean: No Church in the Wild (2012)

Tensions between police and protesters lead to a violent, day-long street riot.

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(as Jay-Z),
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Tensions between police and protesters lead to a violent, day-long street riot.

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29 May 2012 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

No Church in the Wild
Written by Kanye West, Jay Z, 88 Keys, The Dream, Mike Dean, Frank Ocean, Gary Wright, Phil Manzanera, James Brown, Joseph Roach
Performed by Kanye West, Jay Z, Frank Ocean & The Dream
Produced by Kanye West, 88 Keys & Mike Dean
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User Reviews

Visually and thematically arresting
16 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This track is the opener on the album from Jay-Z and Kanye West – two people who generally divide opinion. For some people it is impossible to take them seriously given that they are in such a position of popularity and wealth but yet at the same time will talk about subjects of importance – and then immediately talk about their excess in terms of money, sex, material or whatever. The production on this track makes it easier to go with the more serious tone because it is brooding and contains references to the corruption of traditional institutions such as religion and government. This short film matches that tone well since the focus is not on a performance but on a riot between those (supposedly) seeking change and those police defending them. Although the short tends to lean towards those on the side of the uprising, it really doesn't make too much comment apart from showing the extreme violence of the situation.

This it does well and it suits the heavy music. The riot is vivid and brutal and this is not detracted from by the fact that it is also filmed in a very stylish manner – well, not too detracted from anyway. Some of the material in the song does clash though, in particular West has his usual sexual bragging and while it works in the song it really doesn't sit in the context of the video. It is still an impacting film though – nice symbolism, engaging content and very well delivered by Gervais as director.


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