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The Video That Almost Wasn’t

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The Video That Almost Wasn’t

7 scores and 4 years ago, Reanimator and I released an album titled “The Ugly Truth” on Strange Famous Records. We were 2 quiet guys who never met each other and were introduced via Sage Francis. In between work, school, life and all the other shit that got thrown into the mix, we ended up creating one hell of an album. An album that we all feel will continue to grow and capture listeners.
During the time of the album’s release, I wanted to release a video for Artist Goes Pop, but I was struggling with the video concept. In 2008, Sandrine (my fiance) and I starting brainstorming shoot locations. We drove around Quincy, MA, where we were living at the time and just started shooting B-roll. I wanted to do what nobody else was doing in hip-hop. I wanted to be real in the video and keep it simple, that was the concept. I hate when suckers want to portray themselves as being something they’re not in their videos. I’m talking mainstream and even more so underground. So many emcees get caught up in their personas that it becomes unbearable for me to listen to them or watch them in their videos being over dramatic and over acting. So, I decided I wanted to show myself washing the dishes and rapping with a sock on the mic like I do when I record in my apartment. No sitting on the bed or driving a car. No girls dancing half naked. None of that. I wanted it to be like the videos I watched back in the day where the emcee raps his heart out in cool locations in front of the camera, but also showing a little bit of who I am. I work at a job, I do chores around the house, we have a cat, I’m a dork, etc. No bullshit.
The summer had passed and we still hadn’t shot me rapping the verses. Life happened and intervened and took me away from the project for a little while. All of sudden, now it was winter January 2009 and I still have nothing. Then, Sandrine came up with a great idea to shoot parts of the video at Quincy Adams station parking lot under the lights. We set a shoot date for the week after I got my wisdom teeth out. We planned to film myself taking the subway home from work and then at night shoot the 3rd verse on the roof of the station. The day comes to shoot and I have a terrible infection from my wisdom teeth being removed and my right cheek was blown up. (If you look close during the 3rd verse you can see it protruding. All I could taste in my mouth was blood and puss.) I said, “Fuck it, we gotta get it done, lets shoot anyway”. The shoot goes great, the lighting underneath the parking lot lights turned out to be amazing. The reflections from the rain puddles. Everything went smoothly. We decide to go back the next week to Quincy station to shoot the 1st verse during the day in another area and that goes great. Now, all we have left is the 2nd verse. I start editing the 1st and 3rd verse. The video looks great. Then. Nothing. Nothing. Life. Days. Passing. Months. In fall 2009 we move back to Providence, RI. 2010 happens. 2 years have passed and its still not done and I start to feel like I missed an opportunity, so I shelf the project. I don’t perform a show for almost a year. I start writing my new album with Buddy Peace. All kinds of good/bad shit happens in 2010, but this video is still not done. I don’t even think about it anymore. I didn’t get it done in time, so I was thinking of completely scrapping the idea. Fast forward to June 2011. We drive by this abandoned drive-in theater in Massachusetts. The gears start grinding and we shoot the 2nd verse at that location. I edit the 2nd verse in. The video looks great, I’m finally happy with the entire edit, except for the fact that I almost scrapped the dish washing and sock mic idea. I send the rough edit off to Storm, Reanimator and Sage. I get their blessings. Sage tells me I should keep the dish washing and sock mic idea. Sandrine color corrects it and in October 2011 the video that almost wasn’t is released. My only regret is that Reanimator is not in the video. But, we got it done. Big thanks to my fiance for killing it with the camera work. Dope video for a dope song. Currently, I’m finishing up my new album with Buddy Peace, expect videos for that as well and on time. I’m performing with Sage in early November in Boston and Rhode Island. Have a nice day and excuse the bad grammar. Grammar don’t hurt em.

Other notes about the video:

– I wear my grey hat in every rapping scene to cover the ear phone that was in my right ear while filming. I needed to be able to hear the song while we filmed so I could sync it up right. Low budget!
– My cat makes the only cameo.
– The video was shot with a Panasonic DVX 100 and entirely handheld.
– Suckers beware.

Oct 02

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