Kehlani definitely has the vote for best comeback of the year. After having a troublesome earlier part of the year, the R&B sensation has bounced back even better than what anyone could have thought or imagined. She’s been hard at work gearing up to release her extremely anticipated debut album. The singer has already been satisfying our thirst for more of her music with several singles from the album such as, the bass heavy, hard hitting “CRZY” and the soulful and melodic, “Distraction.”
The Oakland songstress kept the pattern going with the release of the dark and haunting “Gangsta” off the exciting Suicide Squad soundtrack. On Aug. 1, both “Gangsta,” and Rick Ross and Skrillex’s “Purple Lamborghini” premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show. “Gangsta” also marked Kehlani’s first song for a major motion picture / on a movie soundtrack. A week later (Aug. 8), the California crooner released the video for the song, and boy is it a great sight to see. The video is ghostly, eerie, and dark, matching the song’s production and Lani’s amazing vocals.
As the Benny-Boom directed video begins, we hear a slight giggle in the background and then appears a long-haired, sensual Kehlani, dressed in what appears to be an all-black jumpsuit creepily laying on a ground…. covered in glass. With Harley Quinn’s infamous “Good Night’ bat lying beside her, the singer begins, “I need a gangsta, to love me better, then all the others do.” As she sings, visuals of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) in the Suicide Squad film appear. The video then switches back to Kehlani reaching for the bat with a sultry purple light covering her. As the beat becomes more dramatic Kehlani matches it singing:
“I’m f*cked up, I’m black and blue
I’m built for it, all the abuse
I got secrets, that nobody, nobody knows
I’m good on, that p***y sh*t
I don’t want, what I can get
I want someone, with secrets
That nobody, nobody, nobody knows.”
Unlike Rick Ross and Skrillex’s “Purple Lamborghini” video which also focuses on the Joker, “Gangsta” places more emphasis on Mr. J and Harley Quinn’s relationship. Throughout the video, the viewer sees various scenes from the film that focus specifically on Harley and The Joker. The scenes, song, and video join together in this type of symbiotic relationship, as each helps to push the overall theme of love and having that one who will always love you and be there regardless of what the situation might be.
“Gangsta” serves as a theme song to Joker and Harley’s lives and relationship, as the lyrics basically explain that they both live these extremely crazy, chaotic lives, but at the end of the day they will ride to the death for one another, no matter what the situation is (just as Kehlani sings in the song).
Lani even channels her own inner Harley Quinn throughout the video. In one scene she is even seen dressed as Ms. Quinn herself. She channels the same crazy weird vibes, sex appeal, and beauty as Harley Quinn as she sits and swings on what looks like some type of rope like structure. As she sings, The Joker vaguely appears behind her, behind a collection of beads as she looks away and sings the chorus.
According to Billboard, the film’s director, David Ayer praised and commended Kehlani for her contribution to the soundtrack with “Gangsta.” In an interview on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show, Ayer says that Lani’s contribution has a “”raw, broken, yet haunting quality.”
Overall, the song is great and the video is even better. It complete sums up the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn. Just as the movie did, the video makes you desire to see even more of Harley and The Joker (We are still hoping for that big Joker and Harley movie announcement by the way). The Suicide Squad soundtrack consists of other amazing artists such as, Rick Ross and Skrillex, Skylar Grey, Twenty One Pilots, Kevin Gates, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla $ign, Imagine Dragons, X Ambassadors, and Logic. The soundtrack released on Friday (Aug. 5), along with the DC Comics film. The album also mimics the movie in greatness and really makes for a great listen.
Billboard also says that the film grossed $135.1 million into the box office, on its opening weekend. This huge achievement actually marks the biggest August opening ever. So much for a “horrible” film (don’t listen to the critics).
If you have not seen the movie, please go see it; it’s truly great and worth the money. However, until you make your way to the theater, check out Kehlani’s “Gangsta” video right here!