Music Video Review: Alicia Keys shines in ‘Blended Family’

Alicia Keys

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 6:01pm
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Alicia Keys feat. A$AP Rocky

“Blended Family (What You Do For Love)”

A-

RCA Records

In the wake of the 2016 election, millions of Americans are hurting. They’re scared for themselves, their friends, their families, even complete strangers. Also in the wake of Trump’s win, we’ve seen an uptick in blatant hate; this week alone three women have been attacked or “intimidated” in Ann Arbor — a liberal Mecca of sorts in comparison to much of the country. Nonetheless, when the darkness seems to be the darkest it has been in recent years, the brightness shines even brighter.

Alicia Keys and A$AP Rocky vibing in a backyard to “Blended Family (What You Do For Love),” the lead single off Keys’s new album Here, exudes that brightness. The video’s three and a half minutes are a collage of Keys’s family, including husband Swizz Beats, their children, as well as Swizz’s ex-wife and their children (Keys’s step-children), intermingled with other blended families from all walks of life. The energy bubbles with love and affection, further enhanced by the song’s simple yet uplifting guitar chords and honest commentary and relaxed delivery from the songstress.

The video’s energy, powered by adoring looks and slow-motion hugs, overflows with Rocky’s verse. He begins pacing, rapping into a notebook while jotting down lyrics and the smiles only grow wider and more infectious from there. He kisses his step mom on her cheek and a room erupts into laughter as he delivers, “And shoutout to the step sisters and the step brothers / And god-sisters, who eventually slept with us.”

Still, the video’s peak, without a doubt, is Keys and Rocky stunting together, feeding into each other’s energy, each other’s smiles. She mouths his verse as he flows next to her, their bodies lost in the music rather than choreographed around it. The track and video serve as a much needed reminder: “I know how hard it gets / But I swear it's worth it, worth it.”