The Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up – 3/3/16 – TOKiMONSTA x Anderson .Paak, DANakaDAN x Yellowpaco, Jason Chen x MC Jin, AMP, August Rigo, Lyricks, Rekstizzy, Andrew Huang, Steve Aoki

We skipped last week’s video round-up, so we’re playing a little bit of catch-up here. But that just means there’s more Music Video fun to go around this time! Our inaugural MWMVRRU for the month of March 2016 is another Hip-Hop heavy release, but it shows us the variety of style and talent that Asian-American artists have… even within a single genre. There’s a few non-rap releases in the mix too and they shouldn’t be neglected as they are worth the watch and listen as well. But let’s give credit where credit is due as TOKiMONSTA and Anderson .Paak had the dopest video out of the group, and that’s why it’s our Video of the Week.

[VOTW] TOKiMONSTA x Anderson .Paak x KRNE – “Put It Down”

Yoooo, I didn’t have any expectations either way for TOKi’s upcoming album, but this kinda got me hyped. Having the artist formerly known as Breezy Lovejoy was a perfect choice for this joint. TOKi’s production is perfectly constructed to be a radio-ready hit and strong introduction to the masses. The video is clean and sharp and fairly well executed. It’s a nice supplement to the song and I personally can’t wait till her full album drops this week.

DANakaDAN x Yellowpaco – “I LOVE KBBQ”

You can’t take this type of thing too seriously, and as long as you remember that, it’s a silly but fun song. I doubt this is the type of joint that will make your all time favorites playlist but I think you’ll get a kick out of it. Yellowpaco proves himself to be the more capable lyricist out of the two, definitely more refined in terms of flow, but technicality isn’t something you’re looking for from this release. The video is serves fine as accompaniment, turning up the hijinks and sprinkling in a good mix of cameos to boot.

Jason Chen x MC Jin – “Better”

Jason Chen is a smart man. He hasn’t forgotten those who have brought him to this point and shows love to his fans with this track and video. It’s a great way to engage with his followers and give us a decent pop song too; the Jin feature is just icing in the cake. Stylistically, the video is an impressive way to incorporate a mixture of b-roll footage, photos, and new material into a seamless package. It’s also interesting to see some song writing credits go to Teesa and Verseatile too. Well done all the way around.

AMP – “The Master”

For your standard walk-through-the-streets-and-rap type of video, it has just enough visual flair and location variety to keep it interesting. But the video isn’t the strong suit of this release, it’s the song itself. We don’t hear as much from AMP as a trio lately, so it’s good to hear the three of them on a new release again. Plus there’s something about how the melody instrumentation feels like a Final Fantasy OST sample that appeals to me… but that’s entirely personal and subjective. Lastly, I wouldn’t mind to see more goofy blooper footage from the fellas – it show’s a totally different side to them.

August Rigo – “Just Drive”

There’s an unfortunate pattern with August Rigo’s promotional releases, and it’s that the visuals never do the songs justice. This one is better than most but it doesn’t entirely break the trend. He makes the most of the sub-par footage with some stylistic choices but it’s still not as polished as it should be considering that the song itself is pretty strong. So let’s talk about the tune – it’s quintessential California Pop/R&B and a perfect contrast to the wintry season. I really hope AR gets some additional resources to bolster his video strategy.

Lyricks – “Clutch”

Ugh. Lyricks is such a developed and versatile lyricist. Like most of his releases, this isn’t the type of thing for the average, Fetty Wap lovin, Clear Channel listenin, type of rap fan. Lyricks is a rapper’s rapper, and if you love the classic sound of the genre, than you’ll more than likely appreciate this too. Shoutout to everyone involved including the dope EOM beat, the DJ ZO cuts, and the mixing work by Johnnyphlo (who’s been otherwise MIA). As for the video, it’s nothing ground breaking but there’s enough there to hold your attention – although the track should do that just fine on it’s own.

Rekstizzy – “All Night”

I’ve never been the biggest Rekstizzy fan, although it wasn’t so much an issue of skill as it was style. But tracks like this make a strong case to change my mind as Reks proves he can play things fairly straight forward and still do a bang-up job. This is the type of track that would get a few replays in my playlist, and I can’t say that for all his material. The video is OK, it’s a good mix of color against a mainly dark background but it looks like it was run heavily through the Mayfair Instagram filter. By the way, Parker aka DFD did a strong job on the production – who knew?

Andrew Huang – “5 Star Life”

If you have to watch someone else’s travel video, setting it to this track ain’t the worst way to do it. That being said, the latter is definitely the more appealing aspect than the former, as it’s one of his more accessible releases. It’s an enjoyable tune for sure. As for the visual quality, it’s from his continual daily video series so it’s definitely a product of quantity over quality. With that in mind it’s not bad, but eh – I’d rather just listen to the track.

Steve Aoki – “Hysteria”

Conceptually, this video is very similar to his last one (“Heaven on Earth”). It’s always a welcome opportunity to catch a glimpse of the live shows of the artists we follow, so there’s not much to complain about this time. But overall, it’s not quite as engaging as “Heaven on Earth” was, both in terms of song and visual. It’s a fine clip for promotional purposes and serves best as an ad to make you want to get tickets to one of his shows.


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