Video Review: Tori Kelly “Should’ve Been Us”

Typed on the screen is “Dear No One…It should’ve been us. –Tori.” It’s a letter she is tempted to send. Let him read it and know what she feels. With the letter in her pocket, she throws on a casual t-shirt, a pair of shorts and her favorite boots and takes a walk.

Walking through the underpasses, she is careful to avoid abandoned construction cones and not to trip on the cracked pavement. Graffiti is painted on every column, drawn over old faded signs that were forgotten to be taken down.

At the her concert, she gives it her all, putting all her pain into the words. The audience claps for her, hoping she will turn around and face them. She throws her head back, getting into the music, raising her one hand in the air.

Out of the underpass, she walks through the city. In the newspaper, she read there are some places known for their graffiti. When she was with her boyfriend, she never got to see it. She figures now is the time. There is an entire tunnel filled with graffiti. She runs and jumps through it. Seeing the art has helped some but it hasn’t been enough.

She walks by a steel fence. On the other side, the weeds have become bushes, growing outside it. She runs her fingers along it. She breaks through the fence, ignoring the “Keep Out” sign. Careful not to step on the broken glass, she sidesteps it and walks into the abandoned warehouse.

At her concert, she has gone into the first row and has decided to dance along with her fans. They all raise her hands when she does.

She finds some paint and a brush then writes, “Tori Kelly Should’ve BEEN US.” She wants to leave her mark. She matters somewhere.


Rating: 3/5

Kelly avoids the tourist route and instead wants to see the grittiness the city has. She has no interest in admiring the architecture or visiting a museum. The underpass, the graffiti all carry some bitterness and broken promises. Right now, she is need of repair as much as that part of the city. She is able to turn the city into a metaphor as well buck the glamorous trend.

    Director: Rory Kramer Year: 2015

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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