The end of the world, according to the Roots, looks a lot like post-World War II Europe, only worse. Shot in dusty, dulled, almost-black-and-white, the band’s video for new song “The Fire” is a nightmarish five minutes of kidnapping, cannibalism, and murder, all set to the track’s haunting groove and John Legend’s vocals: “You don’t say good luck / You say don’t give up.”
Directed by hip-hop video regular Rik Cordero, the film’s plot centers around a splinter cell of military officers traveling the countryside, kidnapping young men and killing pretty much anyone they feel like. The theme is survival — the enslaved young men struggle on, despite cannibalistic cookouts and frequent point-blank executions. Cryptically, the group’s carries a white tin box with a leaf painted on top; in the beginning of the clip, he holds it up, advising: “This is not a game.”
Eventually, one captive escapes with the box, which seems to be they key to it all. Only, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything in the box. To quote Brad Pitt in Seven, “What’s in the booooox?” Who knows. Its deep. It’s the end of the world.
“The Fire” comes from the group’s latest release, How I Got Over, an album showcasing a more “fulfilled” (yet still politicized) Roots. On deck for the band is a full-length collaboration with John Legend, a ’60s and ’70s cover album entitled Wake Up!, out September 21.
Watch the video for “The Fire” below — post what you think’s in the box in the comments section!
WATCH:The Roots “The Fire” feat. John Legend