Jermaine sat down with MTV during the iHeartRadio Music Festival to explain the vision behind his “Crooked Smile” video, which, as he puts it, aims to strike a nerve.
The Born Sinner emcee told MTV he was powerfully moved by the Oscar Grant biopic, Fruitvale Station, released around the same time J. Cole was working on his earliest visual for the TLC-assisted track.
I want to tell stories like this [Fruitvale Station]. I want to use my platform to tell stories like this. And I never forgot about this little girl, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, I never forgot about her story when it happened a few years ago. When it happened, I didn’t even know I had fans at the time, I just put her story on my blog… Not that I want to tell her story, but I definitely want to dedicate this video to her and get more people to know about her story.
After watching the film, an inspired Cole redrafted the video to tell a different story, one that recounts a drug bust that resulted in the death of an innocent little girl.
Check out Cole’s full statement in the video segment up top.