BC Kingdom‘s new video starts with the premise that you’re watching a prisoner on a sophisticated digital monitor, the kind you might see in ’90s movies set in the not-too-distant future. It’s a smart move by director Lane Stewart. The Los Angeles R&B duo’s “Lock Up,” while softly redolent of its genre’s rich pre-millennial crop, is also on the sleeker, more technologically exploratory end of Solange’s excellent Saint Heron compilation. Or, as BC’s Logan Eze and Zou Deon explained in an interview on Saint Heron’s site, “On this record we focused on taking classic pop and R&B references and adding electronic, futuristic and global elements to them.”
The video brings out further notes of the Weeknd-like menace in the track — this inmate is no joke — but also illuminates the track’s aching romantic fixation, as a silhouetted woman moves close to the singer-convict but appears just out of reach. “Call 9-1-1,” a spoken-word hook repeats, but there’s no emergency here, just more rising talents crafting atmospheric, forward-thinking R&B, with visuals to match.