C Plus is one of my favorite upcoming artists on the scene. Chase Moore and Hippie Sabotage are quickly becoming my favorite producers in the game. All Nighter finds the Sacramento emcee C Plus linking up with Chase and the Hippies to bring you the perfect combination of solid production and dope lyricism, with the sample and visual treatment inspired by the movie Drive. With this video I had the freedom to creatively bring to life a hip hop influenced take on the film, with C Plus as the driver and the sexy Ciara Gorman as the co-star. Shot in the only a day and a half, one at first look probably wouldn’t be able to tell how much work went into the pre-production of this video but I will say that planning definitely pays off. This video has to be one of my favorites so far in how the whole concept and look came together.
In the video C Plus stars as the driver, who with his female accomplice, ends up going head to head with a mob boss (played by Chase Moore) and a hired hitman (played by So Crates) after a botched robbery plot. Anyone who has seen the film Drive will quickly pick up on the loosely inspired plot and theme, to which Chase Moore and Hippie Sabotage superbly do the sample justice. In All NIghter C Plus must quickly learn how to deal with these threats, all while seeming totally cool and unnerved by the attempts on his life. Chase Moore and So Crates do an excellent and convincing job in their portrays of their characters, and we’re still sure that So Crates is still in a little bit of pain. All Nighter can be found on C Plus’ Still Out Here mixtape which is available now at thirdletta.com. Enjoy.
Back in August we released our first collaborative video for Sacramento emcee The Gatlin, entitled Victorian Muzik, which followed Gatlin through an awakening process from the street life to attaining enlightenment. The video attempted to shed light on the drug game as a government set-up and followed Gatlin through his becoming aware of the trap. We now come to the second installment of the video series with the video for Gusto, which takes us back to the events that take place before Victorian Muzik and acts as the impetus of this self-awakening. In this new video, a prequel if you will, we Gatlin caught in the paradigm of risk vs. reward and the rules of the streets….and almost loosing his life as a result.
The video begins with a drug deal gone bad and then explores the events that led up to Gatlin’s near untimely death. The video paints a realistic portrayal of the pitfalls of the street life alluding to the fact that although the reward may be great, in the end the risks one takes with his/her life is not worth that reward. Gatlin learns this the hard way, although he ultimately survives death and is able to live to tell the story. Gusto in no way tries to glorify the street life, rather tells of the reality of its dangers which often lead to incarceration or certain death. The video co-stars many of Sacramento’s noteworthy emcees who join Gatlin in bring this street tale to life. Watch and enjoy.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” - Ephesians 6:12
First off let me say this….I did not want to write this article. As a newbie video/film director myself, I try to stay current on the trends and occurrences in the film world, especially as it pertains to the music industry. My jam-packed schedule typically doesn’t afford me much leisure time to sit, watch, and analyze most videos that are released, and I usually don’t give any of them a second thought afterwards. With most “industry”videos I am able to very quickly point out all of the subliminal (some not so) symbolism, the occultic themes, and objects placed in frame for a specific reason. Every so often a video is released that is so ostentatiously satanic I am taken back…the last one was Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One” released on 01/01/11….this time its Lil Wayne’s “Love Me” directed by Hannah Lux Davis (no promo).
As easy it would be for me to break down the symbolism in this video, the red and black satanic color theme, the mirror, butterfly, and other MK Ultra Monarch Programming ties, the Nephilim-reptilian women that look like they were taken straight out of a David Icke book…I won’t delve in that far (visit mkculture.blogspot.com for more info on that). That would be giving the director too much credit. Although I can’t help but wonder if these directors are really into this stuff or are they simply being told what to incorporate into these videos? My real question is this….why is this imagery being marketed to our children? Why are these themes being infused into hip hop culture? If one were to pose the argument of this video being intended for adults and mature audiences, not kids, then why release a “clean” version where the curse words are edited out? Would not this imply that this was edited for younger audiences? But the two objectified demonic women drenched in a bathtub full of blood is ok right? Don’t think I didn’t see the hexagons either…..
Black people have always been a very spiritual people, and hip hop was birthed from mostly soul music…so I am very aware of the agenda to infuse this demonic energy into our “culture” and its disturbing. I know I’m not the only one who sees this. I know I’m not the only one who cares. Perhaps this is Ms. Hannah Lux Davis’ attempt to play off of and capitalize off of the current illuminati phenomena that has become a large part of pop culture as of recent. Although this stuff has always been in music videos, I feel like in this instance is in very bad taste. Maybe if this video came with a disclaimer that said “Warning this video contains extremely satanic imagery…” or something similar, I would understand. I even can appreciate some of Tyler the Creator’s videos, in a certain sense. However, this new video by Lil Wayne is way over the top and I can’t image anyone watching this video without feeling a little disturbed in their souls…maybe that was the intention, but there’s an old saying that says that “those who play with fire…will eventually get burned.”
First off let me say this….Locksmith is a genius. I have been very blessed early in my career to be able to work with artists who are serious about their craft, the quality of their music, and the presentation of their visuals and image. Locksmith is definitely one of those artists. We had discussed a similar concept in the past, for the song “Gone Tomorrow” off his previous project, Labyrinth, although due to scheduling conflicts we were unable to shoot it. I’m glad we made up for it with “Be Free.” Produced by Kashif of 9th Wonder’s Soul Council, the song immediately grabbed me upon hearing it the first time and I knew we would have to do something special visually with this one. We tossed around a couple ideas and a draft or two of the script before we settled on the final concept of having the lead actress, played by the beautiful and talented Alejandra Cruz, on the Golden Gate bridge…I think about two days before we were scheduled to shoot. I’m glad we decided on that because it came out crazy.
This was the first video we shot with the Canon 5D mark III and I won’t be using another camera, besides maybe the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, for a while. The picture quality is absolutely amazing. Even though it was raining with very minimal sunlight, the high ISO capability if the Mark III worked amazingly well under the conditions and made for a beautiful picture. The camera was even able to capture the rain drops which added a nice natural effect the the video, making it worth shooting in the rain although poor Alejandra almost went into hypothermic shock from the freezing cold. Hats off to her because she pulled it off very convincingly. I’ve been very excited about this video, not just because of the look and feel of it, but because it is very rare that hip hop videos depict story-telling in such a creative way, and more so without using a super voluptuous video vixen playing the lead. Everything with this video came together quite well…and while I was a little skeptical at first with the idea of using the same shot in the hotel room for Locksmith’s performance, his vision and insistence paid off. Glad to have been a part of this. Enjoy.
Set in Chinatown, San Francisco, the black and white color scheme helps to set the tone and look for Chuuwee’s “Beastie Boy!” video, my favorite track from the Wild Style Album. Going along with the 90′s hip hop theme Chuuwee and I discussed, we decided to give this one a cinematic but retro feel. The city of San Francisco gives the video that gritty downtown ” little Manhattan” look which is sort of atypical for west coast music videos. To play off of a theme in one of Chuuwee’s other videos, we decided to have him being monitored by a field agent of some sort, either FBI or CIA, although we never really know for sure (maybe foreign intelligence posing as FBI?). One thing that is for sure is that Chuuwee’s charisma on camera helps to convincingly pull this off, perfectly playing the role of the “usual suspect.” The beautiful Melissa Bettencourt playing the role of the sexy field agent also provides some visual appeal, making the story come to life.
Thanks to Matt Posada for this one…..
Thurz is one L.A emcee that we have been trying to connect with for a while now and we finally got a chance to this weekend while in L.A for Paid Dues. I originally wanted to shoot the video for “The Killers” but due to time restraints, and us wanting to shoot something new and fresh, we decided to shoot two other videos for some soon-to-be-released material from Thurz that is super dope. Can’t give you everything right now but let’s just say that Thurz will be dropping some real dope content before summer. This guy has a sharp director’s eye and a natural charisma in front of the camera so look out for these visuals. On set Thurz also played me a few new joints he’s working on….dope dope dope.
The west coast is on fire right now…
might be a good time to move to L.A.
[New Video] Dom Kennedy “Fresh to Death” (Talks From the Westside with Love 2, Odd Future, Big K.R.I.T.) 
After doing battle with malfunctioning sound system and returning to the stage with even more energy to close out an otherwise phenomenal performance, Pharoahe Monch makes it very clear to even the most mainstream-dieted rap consumer that he is an artist of a special nature, one of which in these days of cookie-cutter formula driven rap disguised as hip hop, is extremely rare. Pharoahe Monch is not a rapper…he is…hip hop. The passion he exudes while on stage and his commitment to the fans that came to see him on this night is non-existent in most others, and while his frustration at the suffering of his performance was evident, the energy of the crowd surely made up for the failing of the speaker system. Pharoahe could have given an acapella performance and still been on point.
Interviewing Pharoahe Monch (thanks Drew!) I got to see and very humble and down to earth person, very thoughtful and introspective, and probably the “coolest” artist (tied with Blu) that we’ve done so far. After being dissed by Joell Ortiz and Co. after his show at 330 Ritch, it was refreshing to see that some artists still care about reaching out to the underground college radio stations and the like, continuing to build and acknowledge that organic fan base. Pharoahe Monch just earned a lot of respect from me…besides from giving us a very good impromptu interview!
Arman (StrongArm) Mahmoudi on the interview. We do this.
After 2 months of shooting and editing, the official music video for The Happening is finally complete! Exactly three months after the Luzion “Doin Me Again” video…sounds like a long time but we’ve been busy. Special thanks to everyone involved in this project. Victor Del Castillo for the C0-Direct…one love! Great job. Anthony Riser on the DP keeping everyone in line, getting the crucial shots, and getting the locations! Special thank you to Priyal Patel for the additional shooting, design, and production (you got my favorite shots!). Shots out to Malcolm Halcrombe and Jimmy Evans again for the excellent acting and screen-work. It was a long time coming, lots of shooting, and crazy editing but we got it done and got the idea out. Crazy team. Look out for the mixtape coming soon…The Prince and the Disscourses. Just a little something for summer…more videos coming soon…stay tuned. I.V League.
Cool dudes. Enjoy.
Directed by Hooker Boy Filmz and Amadeuz Christ
The Man Who Would Be King coming soon..