D-WHY - “Ballad Of An Asshole” (Prod. by Hit-Boy)
Video Directed by D-WHY & Jakob Owens
Video Shot & Edited by Jakob Owens
As an artist, I generally don’t like to go into depth explaining my work. I prefer to let the music and imagery speak for itself. That’s the beauty of art—everyone creates their own opinion and takes something different away from it. However, I felt like it’d be beneficial to give a little insight on this song and video so you all can see where my head is conceptually and creatively.
“Ballad of an Asshole”…soak in that title for a second. The sheer ignorance and arrogance might be enough to get someone to listen to the song (and watch the video). It’s both funny and memorable. I think so, anyway. However, let’s think about that title for a second. The word ‘ballad’ has been traditionally used and associated with folk music and tales that are passed down generations in song form. Those songs are typically tales of tribulation and struggle, and are written to find a common ground between songwriter and listener and, more importantly, to tell real life situations and stories.
These are the same reasons why I wrote this song. Sure, being an “asshole” may seem funny and ‘cool’—but it’s really not. The words ‘Don’t Flatter Yourself’ are as much about me looking in the mirror as they are a cocky, profound album title. Sometimes—admittedly—I’m an asshole. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, sometimes it’s on accident. Sometimes it feels good, sometimes it doesn’t. This song was written to celebrate those moments. The frustration, the anger, the ignorance, the arrogance. It’s a battle cry. It’s an attempt to champion those times when you just are an asshole.
I wanted the video to reflect that as well. The song is a rap track produced by one of the biggest producers in the game right now (shout out to Hit-Boy), so it felt right to make a ‘rap video’ to accompany it. Besides, my most popular videos to date have been ones where I’m just well-dressed and rapping. I guess people like that sort of thing. My personal taste sides with more artistic endeavors such as “New York Times” and “We Don’t Know” that stand alone as short films (more of those coming soon). I like to think, “I’m not a rapper, but sometimes I like to rap.” Rapping is fun. It’s entertainment. But it’s not everything to me. If you’ve listened to ‘Don’t Flatter Yourself’, you know that it’s just one part of who I am as an artist. I just do it when it feels right.
But unlike my previous rap video releases, I wanted to go a little more in depth with the imagery this time. For starters, the girls in the cloaks have a multi-sided meaning. They represent the women that I have treated poorly in the past. They represent dark times. They represent ill-fated relationships and their transformation from fun, to cold, to bitter, as well as the lasting and haunting effect they have on me. Additionally, the girls in cloaks are also bound to garner “illuminati” accusations from viewers. Is the music industry run by some secret/elite group of people? Who knows. Is D-WHY in the illuminati? I’m trying to get my life figured out right now; do you think I really have time to give a fuck about being a part of secret society? But it’s cool that this will breed discussion and debate amongst viewers. They say you’re doing something right when you have haters—I think that applies to having conspiracy theories about you too.
The inclusion of the American flag in the video represents our great nation. With election season upon us and a slew of political fuckery in the air, this flag—being held up by two hooded figures—represents a land divided by party preference. Who is who? What is what? Politics and religion are two realms I don’t generally dwell in. They both come down to an understanding and belief in something greater—both things I find in writing songs and making music.
As far as the outfits go, I put together three that I thought showcased various extremes. I take pride in dressing myself and putting together everything that I wear. The all black with gold, the sweater-and-blazer combination, and the extreme prep look with the bandana tied around the neck are all outfits that represent my taste in fashion, but also my diverse taste in general. The gold chains (which I don’t think I’d wear in ‘real life’) are present in each outfit to add to the asshole-y overtone of the song and video, and also represent that you can wear things in countless different ways. I think it’s important for people to know (and pardon the cliché) it’s not what you wear, but it’s how you wear it.
With all of that said, I hope you enjoy the video. Watch it again and again. Share it with friends. I look forward to performing the song in a city near you soon!