A ton of time ago my friend Jon sent me a track he had just finished and asked if I’d be interested in making a video for it. I’ve gotten used to being impressed by his work, but this one was different. I told him it had most if not all of the components of what I consider a perfect rap song. I’m a sucker for gradual build ups, drops in the beat, syllabic tongue-twisters, the use of the word “mah-fucka” (not to be confused with “motherfucker”), and, well, anger. Put all those in a blender and the result is exactly the stuff that makes me want to punch people in the face. In a good way.
We met for coffee one morning to share ideas. One of the things I like about Jon is that he prefers going over even the smallest details in person, which is the polar opposite of my natural tendency to exchange five thousand emails and text messages just so I can continue being a miserable hermit. We’d been taking individual notes for a few weeks and the meeting didn’t take long as we both had the same basic idea. Our biggest task would be finding the kids. I have one of those, and Tony – founder of Stay Illuminated Clothing – was happy to lend us his. It’s the kind of strange-and-awkward you don’t know exists until you find yourself asking someone if you can use their child to play the asshole in a music video, but he’s open minded and an artist himself, so he came through for us.
Something I must make clear is that his son, whose name I won’t mention because people are crazy (same reason we chose not to credit the kids in the video), had a really hard time portraying a bully. Not because he isn’t a good actor, but because he’s a really, really nice kid. After takes he would apologize to my son for pushing and yelling at him. He even stalled the filming process to offer us all gum. My perfectionism can sometimes be hard for others to stomach, but neither of these kids uttered a single complaint as I had them walk the same alley over and over and over again in the hot sun. They both made the whole process as easy as it could have been, and Jon took them (and all of us) out for pizza to show his thanks.
The rest of the shoot included Jon and I driving around the city, being thrown out of a few places, nearly getting arrested, stopping to pick up some “kind of broken but good enough” free shit that was left on the side of the road, and all the basic ingredients in the making of a music video.
Huge thanks to Tony and his son for driving so far to make this video what it is, to my son for just being incredible and always making me a better human, and to Jon for always trusting me with his brain babies.