“Life is good, who’s asking? / Wrote my number down on too many napkins.” The seemingly cheerful chorus introduced the world to the bedroom hip-hop stylings of Riz La Vie last year and is now returning in the form of a new music video bearing some heartbreaking perspective.
Since its release last year, “Napkins” has amassed over 20 million streams to date, and this number, much like the New Jersey native, is on a perpetual rise. “Napkins” marks the first music video release since his EP Breathe was released in June, and the introspective artist is continuing his use of powerful imagery to share a story of his own. Although most conversations around the track highlight its upbeat and pleasant nature, there lies a less-explored side that Riz La Vie wanted to share with his audience. As Riz La Vie shared when speaking on the inspiration for the visual,
"…came from the lack of emotional intimacy I saw and felt in so many relationships.
Times where you could be with someone every day and never really tell each other, or explore with each other, what you actually care about, who you are/are trying to become, and what struggles you're truly going through."
The video pays pristine attention to an overall sense of aesthetics and is riddled with various dichotomies in actions and in nature, playing to the disunion of emotional intimacy in every-day relationships. Riz La Vie expanded on the complex essences of life that inspired the film, sharing,
"It's too easy to live life on the surface and never ask the questions that inspire those around you to open up to you. As they trade a bit of the weight they carry for a bit of your understanding-a trade that grounds and grows you & your loved ones, you both grow stronger, closer, and more honest. The seemingly simple act of asking how someone is, and helping procure an environment where they can be authentically themselves, allows you and those around you to foster their ability to be radically honest with themselves and, now, at least one other person.
The ability to speak our honest truths and emotions is something that I yearn to hear and see in this world. I am heartbroken in so many cases when the absence of feeling your truth felt, makes your life feel hard to feel at all.
This film is about perspective, and life."
Here's a challenge: Watch Riz La Vie's "Napkins" music video exclusively below, and then ask at least two people in your life how they're really feeling today.