Do people want to virtually experience music? Run the Jewels seem to think they do if the upcoming launch of their own virtual reality platform, VRTJ, is any indication. Designed as an exclusive platform for the group to share and produce VR content such as live performances and material from their Art the Jewels gallery, VRTJ will launch in April in tandem with Record Store Day, where the duo will also release a VRTJ cardboard viewer.
The first piece of content to be pushed out on the platform is a music video for their single “Crown,” which doubles as a virtual reality experience with several characters appearing in 360 degree frame in a completely immersive and interactive psychedelic trek through the trippy minds of Run the Jewels. Released exclusively to NYT VR, the virtual reality app of the New York Times, “Crown” is already generating massive amounts of buzz for its sheer scope and ambition. Some lucky attendees at SXSW got to experience the video first-hand through a VR installation before it’s widely released through Facebook and YouTube in April.
Known for their off-kilter, innovative visuals, “Crown” is just an extension of Run the Jewels’ boundary pushing when it comes to the music video form. Directed by Peter Martin, this audio-visual virtual reality world was created with support from Wevr, a platform boasting itself as the YouTube of virtual reality content. RTJ’s customized cardboard viewer is built specifically to consume and experience VR content through VRTJ, utilizing nothing more than the lightweight headset and a smartphone. If anyone can lend a bit of street cred to virtual reality, it’s Killer Mike and EL-P. See what all the hype is about by watching a stunning sneak peek of the “Crown” video below.