Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, has had everyone buzzing since premiering his powerful new single and music video, “This Is America” just days ago. The politically-charged piece ultimately points a finger at violence and race relations in the U.S.
The man responsible for Childish Gambino’s undeniably engaging aesthetic is none other than Hiro Murai, a Tokyo-born filmmaker based in Los Angeles. However, this is far from the first time that Murai and Gambino have worked together. Since 2016, Hiro has directed multiple episodes of Glover’s hit show, Atlanta.
In addition to television and film, Murai is well known for handling music videos for a plethora of artists, ranging from rappers like Childish Gambino and Earl Sweatshirt to artists as varied as Flying Lotus, David Guetta, The Shins, Queens of The Stone Age, and many more. In honor of his latest release, we’re taking a look at the cream of the crop of Hiro Murai’s music videos.
Just last year, Hiro Murai helped A Tribe Called Quest promote 2016’s We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service album with a visual for “Dis Generation”. We find the director going with a black and white approach, as the seamless movement and crowd footage are clear draws in this particular piece.
In Baauer’s video for “Day Ones”, Novelist and Leikeli47 are pictured alongside Red Coats and Patriots à la the American Revolutionary War who are going to battle in a parking lot. You’ll want to stay tuned until the end of this one, as there is an intense final charge.
All that Murai needed to bring attention to Chet Faker’s “Gold” was an open road and three female roller skaters. Faker himself does appear towards the end of the video, however, after a car accident involving a deer.
Again, “This Is America” isn’t the first time Childish Gambino joined with Hiro Murai. Years prior in 2015, the renowned director provided his expertise on “Sober”. Here, Gambino showcases his quirky dance moves, while also unleashing a little magic, all in attempts to gain favor from a female interest.
“She Wolf” is as cinematic a music video as you’ll see. The clip centers around a team of dog sledders on the hunt for a woman-turned-wolf, thus, “She Wolf”. Despite sharing a name with a similarly-themed song by Shakira, this visual inevitably has a lot more to say.
Earl Sweatshirt’s “Chum” is another black and white masterpiece by Murai. A stationary Earl takes center stage alongside a giant toad, as he contemplates his youth and maturation.
Hiro Murai, Flying Lotus, and Kendrick Lamar is a collaboration that makes perfect sense when you think about each artist’s aesthetic focus. The uptempo nature of the FlyLo track is paired perfectly with a tag team dance routine, and the funeral setting is the ultimate juxtaposition of joy and melancholy.
Massive Attack’s “Take It There” is a noticeably haunting affair, so it’s only right the coinciding music video match the song’s overall eerie vibe. This is where the casting of American actor John Hawkes is key, as he stumbles throughout the city in the wee hours of the morning.
This is a fun one from Murai, as we see Queens frontman Josh Homme enjoying a night out on the town with a group of businessmen. From arcades and strip clubs, to drifting cars and partaking in a little karaoke, the alcohol was flowing and so were the good (drunken) times, that is until somebody gets clobbered with a golf club.
A group of giant children have completely destroyed a city in the Hiro Murai-directed visual for “Do You” by Spoon. Frontman Britt Daniel stars in the clip, driving around town with a female in his backseat. Upon getting a look at the wreckage throughout, the finale shows the aforementioned kids chasing a kickball that’s the size of a house.
Still got Murai on the brain? Check out our breakdown of everything you may have missed in the video for “This Is America” right here.