Real J & DNYKAY's debut music video, "Monsters," is a tear-jerking masterpiece


San Diego rapper and poet Real J. Wallace and composer Daniel Koestner released this music video, “Monsters,” as part of their new duo project Real J & DNYKAY in late January. That’s almost a month that I’ve been sleeping on this masterpiece and you wouldn’t believe how hard I’m kicking myself over it right now.

Without any exaggeration, the new single and accompanying music video is one of the most beautiful pieces of work I’ve seen and heard from any artist in such a long, long time, to the point that I honestly shed a goddamn tear by the end of the video.

Telling the story of someone navigating through childhood trauma, Real J. expresses his internalized demons through the perspective of a young black girl existing around her ‘monster,’ personified as a real life ghoul hidden in the shadows.

“I stay awake because I can’t sleep at night, and there’s monsters in my closet and my mom’s an alcoholic and I don’t know my dad, but if I did I would ask him why’d he go and leave my mom,” sings Real J in the chorus, and something about the juxtaposition of such a bare and touching sentiment over DNYKAY’s playful, lullaby-influenced organic production is enough to give any listener goosebumps. Of courser in classic Wallace fashion, a topic normally perceived as endlessly gut-wrenching is translated through the perspective of someone confronting trauma with positivity, leaving inspiration as the only endless feeling left to be felt.

Real J & DNYKAY, also stylized as RJDK, plan to do a run of lectures and performances that dissect the personification of monsters in our day to day lives, with the music video to “Monsters” acting as a starting point. Topics discussed will include how trauma “affects the human experience and the practice of turning monsters into masterpieces through creative and emotionally-intelligent engagement.” A specially curated art exhibition is in the works with a call-for-artists expected to be announced in March 2019.

Music video directed by Omar De Leon, Daniel Koestner and Real J. himself. The video also features various community members from National City's A Reason To Survive. Please do yourself a favor and tune in below.