Video Review: Rod Wave “Tombstone”

A 13-year-old boy sits in the family room and plays a game. His father sleeps on the couch, his hand within distance of several bottles. The 13-year-old boy looks up to the television and sees the news.

Rod Wave stands in the snow-covered forest and raps. He nods as some light snow lands on his jacket. Back at the home, the door opens and the 13-year-old boy sees his mom walk inside. The 13-year-old boy walks on the sidewalk. A police car follows him. His father spits out his food during dinner and yells at his mom. They argue.

The police car parks at the curb. Two police officers get out the car. His father throws his plate across the table and smacks his mom’s face. One of the police officers points his gun at the 13-year-old boy. The 13-year-old boy pulls at his father’s arm. The police officer tells him to “freeze” and shoots him. He falls to the pavement and stares at the sky. The 13-year-old signs to his father, “are you okay?” She responds, “I’m fine” as they sit against the wall. He signs, “I love you.” She smiles and kisses his hair as he rests his head on her shoulder. A twentysomething man, wearing white, carries him by the lake while a choir sings. Vines and grass grow over his body. Wave continues to stand in the forest.

Rating: 5/5

A group of people say a prayer for the 13-year-old boy during a memorial in the city. Dozens of police officers, wearing riot gear, stand behind them. The 13-year-old’s mom bursts into tears as she speaks of him. His father apologizes of his wife and says his son appreciates everyone’s love.

The 13-year-old’s father grumbles nobody should start anything as they stand near the podium. His mom gives him a small smile and looks at the crowd. Some held signs. She takes in the fresh air and realizes she was no longer afraid. His father growls at her to move. She thanks the crowd again and walks with him.

The police descend onto the crowd, dispersing tear gas and rubber bullets. His mother covers her eye and feels the blood on her hand. People cough as they walk while others provide water to rinse out their eyes. Dozens of people continue to chant the 13-year-old’s name as they walk on the street.

Director: Reel Goats Year: 2021

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 & 45 Magazine.