OK, this week’s mid-week MV review round-up is more late-week, but whatever, just roll with it OK? This collection isn’t particularly jam-packed, but it is rather Hip-Hop heavy (with the exception of Andrew Huang’s contributions). It also lacks female lead vocalists but that’s just the way it broke out. But neither should hold you back from checking out these new clips, especially for those of you who are dealing with the effects of winter, keeping you indoors. Oh, and just like last week, I started pointing out what I have considered the Video of the Week, based purely on my subjective scale that will probably be largely inconsistent and borderline irrelevant. Oh well, start your own Asian-American focused music website if you hate it.
VOTW: Andrew Huang – “Never Look Back”
Up until a few years ago, I actually hated the sound of late 80’s/early 90s music. But as I’ve grown older, the glam synths, empty reverb drum hits, and earworm melodies found a place in my aging heart. So, with all that said, I had a lot of fun with this song and video. It’s so silly and nostalgic that it contains an infectious charm. It’s hard not to be impressed with the versatility of Huang’s musicality.
Rekstizzy – “Hypnotized”
Rek is one of those artists who thrive in their eccentrics. I may not always get it, but I respect that he makes music his way and isn’t usually about conforming. I won’t go as far as say I loved this one, but I think I found more to appreciate with this release than some of his past work. The green screen and motion tracking work was pretty well done, and the song itself has a good chill vibe – minus the heavy autotune hook/bridge, which I wasn’t feeling as much. This song also made me realize I’ve been underestimating Reks as a writer – dude is underrated.
Derez x Flos – “So High”
Derez’s videos have come a long way from his poor aspect ratio renders from a couple years ago. This particular piece isn’t a whole lot to look at, but some effects give it some appreciated visual flair. As for the song, it’s not exactly my style as I’m not a big fan of that underwater auto-tune sound in the hook. D’s 1st verse was pretty decent though I was a bit indifferent on the second. Kinda meh overall for me.
joules x Roark Bailey – “Occupation”
joules x ISA bring us a clean, minamalistic visual for a clean, minamalistic track. The song itself borders on spoken word and hip-hop, a specific genre of sound that suits Jennifer Chung’s husband well. I’d actually like to hear joules and fellow southern hip-hop/spoken word artists Denizen Kane jump on a track together and collab. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Roark Bailey is the glue for this particular song, bringing everything all together. I’m digging it.
joules x Roark Bailey – “Still”
This is a live-ish performance video, as I’m pretty sure this was done in multiple takes but with a live audio track. That moog piano type of sound is perfect for this type of introspective rap, and though joules isn’t the emotive dude, he carries the song well. Also, I’m digging the lighting over joules, but less emphatic on the uneven video textures used throughout the various angles.
Odessa Kane – “GPT” & “Mississippi Burning Still”
This video by OK is brought to us by the good folks of Beatrock Music – and when an artist is on that label you generally know what to expect. Similar to Bam (who has a cameo in the video), Odessa chooses hard hitting but simple production to back up his pointed and message heavy rhymes. It’s more the type of music to rally a cause in solidarity to rather than bump at a party or casual playlist. Video is well edited and makes the most of a single set piece, though in my humble opinion, it could have used a little more b-roll footage to add some variety.
Andrew Huang – “Damien”
It’s always a pleasure to see how Andrew Huang builds his tracks using various sounds. He’s also been one to experiment with his visuals although this is one of his more subdued video productions. That being said, it’s fitting for this alt-ish type ballad. I wouldn’t crown this as his most memorable joint, but it’s certainly no slouch either and entertaining in it’s own right – although I could do without the vlog sections that open and close the clip.