Ansel Elgort is the 23-year-old actor who starred in last year’s Baby Driver. (He’s fine, but I prefer Channing Tatum’s specific brand of doofy blankness.) Elgort had one foot in the music business for a few years now, DJing as Ansølo and releasing EDM-tinged singles under his own name since 2016. Now, please sit down, because it is with a heavy heart I must inform you that he’s rapping.
On Friday, he released the video for “Supernova,” a woozy, downtempo departure from his other singles. It’s a pretty tortured song to hear from the guy I last saw doing donuts with his car during the bomb cyclone. He rap-sings at one point: “I’ve been so fucked in my head / I’ve been going through phases.” Can’t say I’m sold on his flow in the verses, but when it bursts open in the hook he comes close (but not like, that close) to the sort of bare excavation emo rapper Lil Peep was so adored for. Also, the flute revival is alive and well.
The video itself, directed by Colin Tilley (who did the clips for Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”), is much more impressive. Made to look like it was filmed in a single take up until the very end, the visual features an extremely night-sweaty Elgort, who wakes up and stumbles through a dark, rainy street. It’s all very serious, like a bad dream involving a staircase to nowhere, and unfortunately makes me think Elgort’s upcoming Supernova EP isn’t aspiring to just be some side gig.
I love Baby Driver and The Fault in Our Stars (which Elgort also starred in), but also think both would be improved by replacing him with, well, anyone else (psst: American Vandal’s Jimmy Tatro). So maybe I should want his whole music thing to take off? It’s nice to know that I’m not alone wanting to hide from Ansel, and will try not to walk it all back when he wins his third Oscar or tenth Grammy.