Twenty One Pilots has done it again: The music video for their 2016 hit “Heathens,” from the soundtrack of DC’s first “Suicide Squad,” has officially crossed the 2 billion views mark on YouTube.
It’s the duo’s second music video to pass the milestone after 2015’s “Stressed Out,” which currently has more than 2.6 billion views on the video platform.
The “Heathens” video, directed by Andrew Donoho with Nate Hurtsellers serving as cinematographer, is interspersed with clips from “Suicide Squad,” which starred Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis. The music video took home the trophy for best rock video at the 2016 MTV VMAs. The “Heathens” video was uploaded to YouTube on June 21, 2016, which was 45 days before the theatrical release of “Suicide Squad.”
In the video, frontman and vocalist Tyler Joseph is decked out in an orange jumpsuit in Belle Reve, a fictional prison in the DC Universe, with drummer Josh Dun also appearing behind bars. After Joseph magically sheds his prison garb (and grabs a guitar hovering in midair over a stage), inmates gather around to watch the Pilots’ performance. At the very end, Joseph is sitting back in a cell alone as security guards surround him with their weapons drawn.
The song’s lyrics nod to the motley crew that comprises the Suicide Squad: “You’ll never know the freak show sitting next to you / You’ll have some weird people sitting next to you.”
Twenty One Pilot’s most recent studio album was “Scaled and Icy,” released in 2021. Their previous album, 2018’s “Trench,” included the No. 1 alternative radio single “Jumpsuit.” Their fourth album was the 2015 blockbuster “Blurryface,” which marked the first time every track on an album had gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum, per the RIAA, on top of the collection’s own 4x-platinum status.