If you know anything about Jaden Smith, you know that he’s not your average 17-year-old. Never mind the fact that Smith is the heir to the Fresh Prince because he would rather be recognized for the merit of his work than his inherited fame anyway. The kid is a critical thinker, and he is well aware of his mental prowess in his single, “Scarface.” Directed by 21-year-old Moses Arias (Rico from Hannah Montana), the accompanying music video stresses Smith’s bleak and almost paranoid existence in the public eye as he strolls the empty and dimly lit alleyways of Matera, Italy alone—well, kind of alone.
The only supporting role in this video is that of the anonymous hooded figure seen either whizzing past the camera or lurking in the background as Jaden raps, either unaware or unfazed by its presence. When Smith asserts, “Private society, blind, but you try to see/Handle it privately/Why did you lie to me? Why did you, Bruce Lee?/John F. Kennedy, who?” and continues to warn “Baby girl, just know your enemies/Baby girl, make sure you ‘member me,” he alludes to conspiracy theories surrounding the deaths of JFK and Bruce Lee, who are thought to have been killed by the Illuminati and suggests that he might be next. Within the context of the “Scarface” music video, it would seem that the hooded figure represents a member of that New World Order.
At one point in the song, when Smith refers to himself saying “Got a nice ride, far sighted/ Car ignited, too excited/And I don’t sink in it/He just tryna make the pain go away/Make the fame go away,” we see him begin to walk down an alleyway until he seems to spot three mysterious figures at the other end, presumably friends of the original cloaked figure, after which he decides not to proceed. There is no fear in his face, but only a grim acceptance of his reality. This avoidance is reminiscent of how a celebrity might try to avoid crossing paths with the paparazzi, only it seems like the stakes are much higher in Smith’s case.
The video ends abruptly, shaving 12 verses from the original song. Smith’s last verse in the video states, “No, the government will not be killing me” right before we see his shadow shot down by another shadow—presumably that of the original hooded figure who scurries across the screen in the final moments of the video.