“Promised” Iman Shumpert featuring Teyana Taylor

“The song is about keeping my promise to people that I love and all the stuff I ever said I was gonna do,” said Shumpert.

He seemingly speaks those recent events into existence, rapping, “I wanna marry your smile/I wanna spoil your style/I wanna sleep with your dreams/and then father the child.”

“The crazy thing about it is when I was writing it, I was speaking figuratively,” the Cleveland Cavs guard said. “I wrote this song about a year-and-a-half ago. Teyana didn’t add her part until right before the playoffs last year. With everything that was going on it just started to line up in my mind, I kind of envisioned what was happening and timed it up accordingly.”

Taylor added soft, intimate and well-placed vocals of her own to bring the collaboration full circle.

Director Sasha Samsanova captures slick black-and-white shots, along with cold silhouettes against a blood red background, all of which synchronize accordingly with the song itself. As the beat breaks down, the shots get more emotive and find Taylor, in particular, in a most honest and vulnerable state.

“The emotion I wanted to capture, that breakdown part of the video, was telling the story of [Teyana] feeling something new, something real that no one could take away,” said Shumpert. “I think [Sasha] did a great job of trying to capture that story.”

At just over seven minutes, it can seem longwinded at first glance, but it’s true poetry in motion with no filler and worth each second.

Violet Elisabeth Cass
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