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      Zebra Katz and Leila “Blk Diamond” Is a Hauntingly Beautiful Examination of Cruelty

      July 16, 2015

      Can anyone even touch the level that Zebra Katz and Leila are orbiting in right now? The powerhouse collaborators, who gave us the Nu Renegade EP back in May—are smashing every music video they've put out so far, starting with "You Tell Em," "Nina Simone," and now, "Blk Diamond"—a stunni...

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      Can anyone even touch the level that Zebra Katz and Leila are orbiting in right now? The powerhouse collaborators, who gave us the Nu Renegade EP back in May—are smashing every music video they've put out so far, starting with "You Tell Em," "Nina Simone," and now, "Blk Diamond"—a stunning expression of the duo's ability to meld the beautiful and grotesque.

      The black volcanic rocks of Iceland make for a grim setting for the unforgettable scene at the center of the video: Zebra Katz's limb body is hauled up a hill by two half-naked white men with skin flaps like giant flesh mounds. He's strung up with rope upside down, in a manner that's uncomfortably similar to a lynching. They puncture his body, and a silver-white liquid spills out as the chinking sounds of metal against metal build into a percussive rattle.

      "I wanted the video to rely heavily on my filmed performance as I re-examined imagery of cruelty," Katz explains, citing Iceland's rugged landscape as a key inspiration. (His wardrobe was also designed by local artists.) "Looked it up afterwards and there is actually a Roland Kirk track with the same title," Leila adds. "We are in good company."


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