Laughing Man, “Bodycop”

Ava Myint

Laughing Man’s video for “Bodycop”, directed by Zak Forrest, opens onto a closeup of the face of a black man lying dead on the floor of the Lincoln Memorial. The second video off of the DC-based art rock quartet’s 2014 album Be Black Baby is a powerful take on the country’s current conversations surrounding race and policing.

Brandon Moses’ demure vocals come off as haunting as the video cuts to the man’s body lying on the ground of other locations in DC. The camera pans across the body, zooms into it, captures it from both low and high angles. It is both hypnotic and macabre. The instrumentation matches the tone of the video, especially a central proggy guitar solo that creates a dissonant haze. Later, the song picks up tempo and roars along to a bluesy rhythm, paired with a hooded figure shadowboxing silhouetted against the national mall, before winding down onto a shot of the body centered on the floor of a museum exhibit. The image dissolves into a shot of the band looking down solemnly at this juxtaposition of the past and present, all while an excerpt from one of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches plays: “I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created equal.”

Listen to Be Black Baby here.

Check out Laughing Man’s music video for “Brilliant Colors

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