"Crown of Thorns" is more than just the monstrous title track off Rakaa's 2010 solo debut. It's a soaring mission statement from the Los Angeles rapper, who you likely know for his work as one third of Dilated Peoples. But like group mates Evidence and DJ Babu, Rakaa wanted to test the waters as a solo act. And anyone who heard Crown of Thorns can agree that it was a wise move for the methodical MC.
While we're certainly yearning for another Dilated Peoples album, we're more than impressed with what they have done on their own. Especially Rakaa, who spills his guts here on the album's title track. Director Jason Goldwatch, who was most recently behind Nas' "Nasty" video, perfectly captures the essence of the Aloe Blacc-assisted "Crown of Thorns" in the visuals below. I won't spoil it for you, though. You just have to watch. Photo by Trevor Traynor.