Murs' video for "Animal Style" couldn't come at a better time. With Frank Ocean making the news with his open letter revealing an old love affair with a man, the issue of homophobia in hip-hop reared its ugly head again.
In Murs' inventive clip, he narrates a love story between two young men Johnathan and Roderick (played by Murs, himself) and the complexities of their secretive relationship.
It's a powerful visual and very much needed in hip-hop.
I'll let Murs explain the song and video:
"Animal Style is a song I did for many reasons. The first was to be an advocate for people close to me who are out, and those who have yet to come out. It's also a love song, which is nothing new for me. But with this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender, really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex?
And finally, I just felt it was crucial for some of us in the hip hop community to speak up on the issues of teen suicide, bullying, and the overall anti-homosexual sentiment that exist within hip hop culture. I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable. Even if it came at the cost of my own comfort."