The hip-hop scene has been incredibly busy these past few weeks churning out visual components to coincide with their individual projects. Don't miss Mr. Midas and his chartered plane on "Run My Town," a shirtless Pries in the snow on "I Don't Care," a pair of sparse cityscape clips from Iman S on "Edward Scissor Hands" and with M6 on "It Is What It Is," Hypnautic's ode to his 'hood on "Where I've Been" and Sole's latest wordplay on "The Bridges Let Us Down." Click through for a full rundown.
MR. MIDAS - "RUN THIS TOWN"
Mr. Midas, the Long Beach, California, native-turned-Colorado hip-hop ambassador, just dropped the first video from his long-awaited full-length album Son of the Crack Era, titled "Run My Town."
The video is about nine minutes long, so get your mind right before pressing play on this joint. While I'm sure there's a movie reference being made, I can't tell you what it is. Master Fuol of Lyricist Lounge fame, makes an appearance as a shabby antagonist to Mr. Midas's more powerful protagonist.
Midas says Son of the Crack Era will not only be an album, but will feature a complete documentary that profiles the rise of the crack epidemic. The video for "Run My Town" is the introductory component to the package. There are tons of drug references scattered throughout the song, and the video itself is a play on the arrival of a very important package that might be drugs, or money, or both.
Highlights of the video include Mr. Midas arriving at an airport in a private plane, several beautiful shots of Denver's skyline, and a legion of goons to match the stiff and stoic expressions of carefully placed video girls.
PRIES - "I DON'T CARE"
In the video for "I Don't Care," Pries is giving his best show of endurance by walking the street in the snow, at one point shirtless (?), while giving an account of his life's struggles and his determination to make it.
This single is from Pries's album Transfer Student and embodies his change from a young MC to a formidable force in hip-hop. He mostly mugs for the camera and challenges any and everyone to deny him his shot at "making it."
It's a take on where he's from and where he plans to go. Another video of the barest proportions, this joint is more about the song and lyrics than the visual translation.
IMAN S AND M6 - "IT IS WHAT IT IS"
The ever prolific DJ Quote has two new videos featured in this round up. The first is from his protégés Iman and M6 for the new single "It Is What It Is." At the first sound of the beat, it sounds like the boys have taken a cue from the TI book of enthusiasm (not to mention his conflict-resolution skills), with the big body production, the catchy hook and thinly veiled references to shooting naysayers.
There is nothing particularly exciting about the video, and that seems to be the point. Stripped down and bare, Iman and M6 are mostly shrugging their shoulders with an air of pretension that can't be bought in stores. M6 spits lyrics that are supposed to be intimidating, but which, coming from his perfect lips and young face, are more staged than realistic. The last shot finds the young men emerging from an elevator that may or may not be a throw to "making it to the top."
"It Is What It Is" is a statement that defines the ideals of taking the good old "what for" at face value. Applying the same formula to this video, it's better to just press play.
IMAN S - "EDWARD SCISSOR HANDS"
Word has it that Iman has been a fashion stylist for Kanye West, Keyshia Cole and others. This would certainly explain his penchant for releasing videos that show him inexplicably mugging for the camera all over Denver. This Quote Media directed joint features lyrics from Iman like, "I'm doing shit with my paper like origami." Clever.
As Iman purports to follow the creed of "no crying in baseball and no friends in rap," he seems to be in his element -- solo and with plenty of space to run the bases.
HYPNAUTIC - "WHERE I'VE BEEN"
Hypnautic wheels out a new video for the single "Where I've Been," from his latest release, Purple Rain, and while I'm not entirely sure where he's been or where he's from, if this video is any indication, everything is one big mess.
In the video, masked, hooded figures are seen running through the city smashing and looting shit all over the place, while Hypnautic, at one point, sits on a random couch with the Qwest building in the background. With an air of melancholy, the MC paces himself and gives an account of his broken past, which, evidently, includes both violence and poverty.
The synth in the production adds a bit more cheer than the directors had probably intended, and the images of Hypnautic running through a "'hood" with the apartments on Speer Boulevard in the background -- which anyone even remotely familiar with Denver will attest is as far from the 'hood as possible -- isn't especially profound or believable. Hypnautic does his best, though, and considering that he's telling his story, what more can he say?
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SOLE - "THE BRIDGES LET US DOWN"
Sole brings a thoughtful appeal to his video for "The Bridges Let Us Down." Directed by Hunter Siede, this video is literally a moving picture. It may remind you of the goofy renditions of the Daft Punk shtick for "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," but Sole brings his own hint of sophistication to the concept.
The lyrics are given full shine and Sole's flow is on fucking point with every beautifully spoken word punctuated on the beat. The direction of the camera personifies the maddening tale Sole paints with lyrics that end with "wither and die."
In a word: dope.