Benjamin Earl Turner has redefined the modern day American dream in his latest video "JA RULE," released Wednesday.
"Trying to make that I don't give
Turner, who spoke with Detour Detroit ahead of the video's release, hails from the Bay Area and has called both Chicago and Texas home before moving to Detroit to pursue his masters in creative writing and African diaspora literature at Wayne State a few years ago. Naturally, there's a lot to take in upon the video's first watch.
The first single off of his debut EP F*CK, "JA RULE" is a treasure trove of Detroit imagery and subtle hard-to-catch surrealism. Turner told Detour that he and his team managed to feature over 40 Detroit locations during the whirlwind six-day shoot including casinos, party store parking lots, demolition sites, and the people mover. And then there's the ski lift scene. And the toilet. There's Bitcoin, cats, mice, a goat, oxygen masks, IV's, and a gallon of orange juice which might just be the video's unofficial co-star. Not to mention the many nods to Super Mario Bros., which Turner said was a late discovery.
"The song is basically about getting the money and then getting the lover at the end, and I was wearing a jumpsuit and climbing out of manholes and I was in all these different terrains,” Turner told Detour's Kate Abbey-Lambertz. “I was like, oh shit, this is Super Mario, but black with dreads. This is hella raw."
While the song and video seemingly have nothing to do with Ja Rule the rapper (save for a few moments where Turner taps into Ja's gruff register), the timing couldn't be more clever. When you search Ja Rule on YouTube, Turner's video appears in the top five results, the first few, of course, being the "Put it on Me" rapper's response to his involvement in the failed Fyre Festival following last week's release of dueling documentaries about the disastrous event. Touché, Turner. Touché.
Stream F*CK here and watch (and re-watch) Benjamin Earl Turner's "JA RULE" below.