Music videos played a huge part in Hip-Hop artists careers in the 1990s era. There was absolutely no way you were going to have a successful rap career and reach the masses if you did not have a video to showcase your music through. The Hip-Hop audience was a lot more attentive and sought out visuals that complemented rap artists’ lyrics. If an artist had a single it was inevitable that a music video would soon accompany the single. With that being said, Harold Williams, better known as, Hype Williams, was the music director to be in the 1990s! Hailing from Queens, New York Hype was one of the most sought after music video directors throughout the 1990s where he built up much of his impressive resume by directing videos for artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Jay-Z, Craig Mack, Missy Elliot, Nas , Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and even directing the film, Belly. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop and you have not watched any of Hype’s videos then you have A LOT of catching up to do! Now for your reading and visual pleasure I will break down a couple of Hypes videos and why they stood out to me.
Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear Remix Featuring The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J, & Busta Rhymes
From The Warriors inspired intro to the full star studded line-up and multiple artist cameos, the Flava In Ya Ear Remix is nothing less then monumental. Watching this video when I was younger I could not help but just be taken in by the lyrics and visuals that were plastered all over this music video. The fact that the video was shot completely in black and white just adds to the finesse of this song and the captivating presence that visuals have on a viewer.This video was the blueprint for many of the “in-your-face” and “me and my click” style of videos that would be rehashed over and over again in multiple rap videos throughout the 1990s (this style holds a soft spot in my Hip-Hop loving heart). This music video will forever be a fan-favorite of the rap genre and serves as the perfect blend of originality and the “don’t fuck with me” type of attitude that has always pumped through Hip-Hops veins. Indeed, an amazing song that got a well-deserved video to match its level of energy.
The Notorious B.I.G.– Warning
A song so compelling and rich in story that it deserved the short-film treatment. Biggies‘ “Warning” video plays out exactly like a mobster film that you would see on some late night movie channel. Taking influence from films like Scarface, The Godfather, and other famous mobster films this video truly portrays the lavish and hostile life that comes across in Biggies lyrics. Hype was able to translate the songs message through this video with club shots of a guy lurking in the shadows and showing Biggies anxiety with the situation throughout the video. The shoot-out at the end is the icing on the cake for this classic and well-executed video!
2Pac – California Love Featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
The Mad Max version of the California Love music videos was one of the coolest looking videos I had ever seen when it was first released. It featured a cool desert terrain, a hilarious Chris Tucker cameo, and all of the hype that the West Coast and Death Row was riding on for the last couple of years on screen! It was the arrival of a new era of big budget and flashy videos! Money was abundant and so were the parties when it came to the West Coast scene so why not splurge and showcase this through music videos? Death Row was reigning SUPREME for a good few years until Pac‘s untimely death, Dr. Dre leaving as a result of a money dispute/the creation of his own music label as well as Snoops departure that would land him on the NO LIMIT RECORDS label. Although, this dream team of a record label is long gone past it’s glory days, Death Row lived it up in memorable-big budget videos like the one you see before you!
Well that is it for now, perhaps I will do a couple other videos in a future post. Thank you all for reading!
Hello, all far and wide! Today, I have a colorful-surf inspired collaboration to share with you all between the awesome Warriors of Radness clothing brand and the equally cool, Opening Ceremony. Both have joined forces to bring you all this capsule collection known as, BEACH CREW! which is based around old surf and beach culture. The collection features an assortment of graphic tank tops, t-shirts, and button-ups among many other pieces. As one of my favorite brands in recent years, Warriors of Radness, has really put their surf/brightly-colored mark work into this collection and I assure myself that once my money is coming in by the barrel I will be sure to grab some pieces from this capsule collection! Check out some of the collection below as well as the new video by Warriors own artist Gantez Warrior!
“The Beach Crew” directed by Annette Funicello.
K-OS – Superstar, Pt. Zero
Jay-Z – Never Change
Jedi Mind Tricks – Saviorself
Immortal Technique – Obnoxious
MF Grimm- Earth
1980s Hip-Hop music can be defined as a culmination of originality, creativity, inspiration, and PURE HEART! The Hip-Hop scene in New York was at the top of the food chain with various rappers, B-boys, and Graffiti artist originating from the area while the West Coast Hip-Hop scene was expressing their own take on Hip-Hop and starting to set the foundation for the “Gangsta Rap” era that would take over the rap game in the 1990s. Big corporations still were uncertain of where exactly Hip-Hop as whole was headed and still felt that it was just a FAD that would die off. Having no corporate financial backing rappers had to really come with some serious lyrical skills on the microphone in order to attract listeners and hopefully make a dollar or two off selling their tapes. But, of course, the mid 1980s produced the commercially successful record Licensed to Ill by The Beastie Boys and became the first rap album to become #1 on the Billboard Charts. This record along with earlier efforts by artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, Run D.M.C., LL Cool J, N.W.A., Eric B. & Rakim, and Public Enemy as well as MANY others helped to drive Hip-Hop into the mainstream and popularize Hip-Hop outside of the confines of America. To have been a witness to this “Golden Era” in Hip-Hop is the equivalent to witnessing the first Woodstock or watching Jimi Hendrix live in concert. It is a time that well never be reborn again and untouchable in the sense that such diversity and quality was being produced to form the framework of Hip-Hop that at the time no one truly knew what the outcome would be out of all this work. As a lover of Hip-Hop as a culture, form of music, and artistic expression all I can do is spread and share my genuine love/appreciation for this beautiful music with you all. I hope you all can learn and respect these various artist as I do, or at the very least take the time to listen and appreciate the art form that is Hip-Hop music. Bob your heads and enjoy.
Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight (1979/80)
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message (1982)
Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock (1982)
Run-D.M.C. – Rock Box (1984)
Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full (1987)
Boogie Down Productions – South Bronx (1987)
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Big Daddy Kane – Ain’t No Half Steppin (1989)
Biz Markie – Just A Friend (1989)
Gang Starr – Positivity (1989)
Public Enemy – Fight The Power (1989/90)
Justice – “Civilization”
Hodgy Beats Ft. Casey Veggies – “Less”
Also be sure to peep this new mixtape by Abel Tesfay better known as “The Weeknd“. Stars like DRAKE have cosigned on this R & B upstart he is also garnering positive reviews across the online community and received an 8.5 rating from Pitchfork.
Download it HERE!
Peep the video for the song “Wicked Games” to see what he’s all about.
Today I am sharing something really special with all of you on behalf of the Student Hip-Hop Organization (SHHO). The Chasing Forever mixtape has been a work in progress for about a year now and coincides with the organizations brand book that also goes by the same name. As a music lover and beyond that a lover of Hip-Hop, this is really some dope material! This project is backed by a very interesting concept that is easy to relate to no matter what background you come from, or where you’re at in life. That concept is of course, Chasing Forever.
Chasing Forever revolves around the ideals of self-motivation and planning out your layout for how your going to accomplish your dreams, get that clothing line started, or win that championship this season. It’s a concept that keeps you up all night, it makes you have tunnel vision and keeps your eyes on the prize. Hell we all have that fear of taking that 1st step towards reaching our goals and dreams…And then as of nowhere you see your hard work and ideas come to fruition. It’s a beautiful feeling that you must take pride in for not all succeed in accomplishing their goals. But it’s not the end and you shouldn’t stop because the hard work is far from over. It never stops for me, the organization, and hopefully not for you. That drive and sense of progression should stay forever implemented in your mind and daily life. Look back at all you have done in the past few years, have YOU progressed? It’s a cycle, you keep it going. You keep Chasing Forever.
Chasing Forever Trailer
Chsing Forever EPK
Millz – “Letter To Self” Music Video
Do you ever hear a song that you haven’t heard for years and you just get so taken by it that you get a rush of memories/thoughts/ and feelings rushing through you? Everything is so vivid to you that you remember the exact moment you first listened to that particular song, what you were wearing, how old you were, etc… I get this feeling with a lot of music that I listen to and I feel as though that is one of the reasons music is such an important aspect of my life. Music can tell a persons story, a persons journey through life and serve as an extension of that persons true inner being, or rather their “soul”. I can’t hardly begin to describe all of the types of emotions that music taps into within my heart and mind all I can say is that I hope others are able to be impacted by music or anything else in their lives as strong as I am with these couple of songs. For now I will share just two tracks with all of you that I have fond memories of and explain a little bit of the reason why they have stuck with me for this long.
The Crystal Method – Comin’ Back
Story: I remember when I first discovered the “VEGAS” album at this used cd store around 2000. I had already heard of The Crystal Method and just wanted to check out some more of their catalog so I bought this album not knowing that I would not be putting it down for the next few weeks! The whole album blew me away and I remember listening to tracks like “Busy Child” and “High Roller” around 1997 and 1998 when the album dropped and got a lot of publicity in films and video games. All though these tracks were flawless I was ALWAYS hooked by the track “Comin’ Back”. I can still remember staying up late at night playing Playstation games like Metal Gear, Parasite Eve or Resident Evil 2 and just chilling to this track! It’s crazy how fast time fly’s by but every time I hear this track I’m transported back to those late nights where the only thing I was worried about was making it to the next level with such low health or if I was going to be able to kill the next boss!
DJ Shadow – What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1-Blue Sky Revisit) / Transmission 3
Story:Okay so I will be straight up with you I just finally discovered DJ Shadow’s AMAZING debut “Endtroducing” a few years back. What can I say I was only 7 years old when this amazing gem dropped! Anyways, the important thing is I found it and I can never EVER put this album down! This album created a new musical landscape within my mind and after doing some research it did the same thing for Hip-Hop when it was released. This is one of those albums I can listen to all the way through and not feel the need to skip to the next track! Although I have a special place in my heart for tracks like “Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt”, “Midnight In A Perfect World” and of course “Stem / Long Stem / Transmission 2” I am moved most by the final and greatest song on the album “What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1-Blue Sky Revisit)”. Although this was an instrumental album and it’s songs were all composed of old samples from TV shows and songs Shadow was able to make a completely new sound out of all this material. When I listen to this track I just can’t hold back from bobbing my head and sinking deeper into this songs trance! This is the song that does it for me. This is what music is supposed to be like. From the smooth Jazz sounds that make up the intro of this song to the drop of the first drums it’s like a match so fitting you would have thought all the components of this song were made for this very song in the first place. All in all DJ Shadow is a genius and although I wasn’t aware of this album when it first dropped it found it’s way to me and I always feel like I was there from the start!
So it’s finally dropped…the video for Kanye West’s hit “All of the Lights” off My Dark Twisted Fantasy. This video is packed with a lot of different filming techniques and colors that add much excitement to the video which just happens to be directed by Hype Williams. I wish the video covered the entire original song on the album, but nonetheless the video was done well. The intro was one of my favorite parts of the video as well as the transition from the different styles and colors of text into a full visual shot of Kanye rapping his verse on top of a cop car was a really cool sequence.
You might also be wondering about where they got the concept for the “flashy” use of text in the video. Well it was a concept that was borrowed from controversial French Film director Gaspar Noe’s 2009 film Enter the Void (Text was done by Thorsten Fleisch). Check out the opening sequence and see for yourself!
Just shut your mouth and enjoy-nod-dance-shake it.
Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe
Justice – Party
Hudson Mohawke – Overnight
Mash up – The Notorious B.I.G. x The XX – Mo’Stars Mo’ Problems
Cyne – Steady