Thursday, 17. July 2008 - 12:41 pm
Wot do you call it? Urban? Well, yes, let’s go for Urban. I wanted to research this and get it right. So I consulted MOBO for the definitive answer “black music born out of adversity that has evolved into mainstream popular culture – urban.”
So here we have my urban playlist. I had real difficulty putting this together mainly due to narrowing down my choices. Not to mention the fear of e-thugs pissing on my chips.
My prodigious youtube viewing meant there was so much that I wanted to cram in but couldn’t. So I’ve streamlined my selects to true personal favourites with some little treats thrown in here and there. All via youtube of course.
Missy Elliot, The Rain. Dir: Hype Williams
This video blew my tiny little mind. I’d never seen or heard anything like this before. This was the first video that made me aware of the genius of Hype Williams. It was so ahead of its time it’s silly. I literally went out and bought Supa Dupa Fly the very next day. For me this was the dawning of a spangly bright shiny silver new era and therefore a perfect place to start.
Wiley, Wot Do You Call It. Dir: Adam Smith
As everybody who knows me will tell you I LOVE GRIME. Like really really love it. Wiley is self-appointed Godfather of the scene and this video and Adam Smith’s accompanying documentary showcase everything that was great about the nascent scene; The Igloo Riddim, Eskimo dance, one line flows, Crazy Titch (FREE TITCH), De Ja Vu FM and Rhythm Division.
I get all tingly and excited when I watch these, I genuinely do. Grime had so much potential at this point and Adam captured it perfectly. In my eyes early grime was more punk than any of the guitar music at the time. It wholeheartedly embodied the true spirit of everything punk in the 00′s. A music born out of frustration by the young and disenfranchised, two fingers in the bling face of UK Garage. The only difference from punk of old being that the guitars had been swapped for Playstations.
Kelis, Milkshake. Dir: Jake Nava
Here is my sexy video selection. There is no way I could do this and not have a booty video. I like this one as its not your usual type of misogynistic fare. Feminism in action? Kelis is in control whilst hubby Nas scrubs the dishes. Also I had to include Jake Nava somewhere in this post. LIVING. THE. DREAM.
Busta Rhymes, Gimme Some Mo. Dir: Hype Williams
I couldn’t not have more than one Hype video. Come on. And likewise I couldn’t not have a Busta video. This is my favourite, I love this era of Hype’s work so much it makes me feel sad that nowadays everyone has opted for the mandatory club video with mandatory car, mobile phone and champagne endorsements. What happened to running round dressed like a demonic blue cartoon child in hip-hop?
Roots Manuva, Witness. Dir: Mat Kirkby
One thing that really bugs me with a lot of music is that no one appears to be having any fun in their videos. I love this video because that is exactly what it is good clean, well cheating fun. This track was absolutely massive. I literally heard it every time I left the house at one stage. If it came out today the mobile phones on the bus would resonate with tin pot rounds of Witness.
Thecocknbulkid, On My Own. Dir: Oliver Sudden
Seems everybody else that has done a playlist slips in a scurrilous plug for there own wares. This is my latest video. For the first time in about 12 months I’m actually really excited by some
of the music coming out of the UK. Anita is one of my favourites. I love her mesh of sounds and the fact that there is nothing that reminds me of The Kooks. Hallelujah!
Kanye West, Flashing Lights. Dir: Spike Jonze and Kanye West
Kanye West has a huge ego and can be a bit of a doink, but he cares about what he does and he cares about his videos. There are some fantastic urban videos about at the moment but, this is the best music video of any genre I have seen in years. Bear with me, but this really reminds me of this Monty Python sketch. I think it’s the pacing, the minimal cut that lets the performance breathe and sardonic humour.
No? Just me? Oh well.
• Oliver Sudden is the Urban-loving alter-ego of Ollie Evans, the director of mainly guitar-based music (The Gossip, Foals, Das Pop, to name a few) at Partizan. So commissioners, it’s up to you to give Oliver the chance to become the next Hype or Nava…