Hypocrite Central

I saw our music video on the news again tonight – usually a cause for celebration but the circumstances weren’t so great.

Plenty can be said about the wrongs of celebrities but what I find most frustrating is the self-righteousness of the public. Celebrities do the same things the rest of us do – some more so than others, of course, but they’re imperfect beings like every single one of us. Acknowledging that doesn’t justify what they do, and certainly, some “flaws” may be considered less socially acceptable than others, but we seem to think that celebs should be possessed of some superhuman capacity for perfection.

Where does the sense of self-righteousness come from? Morality as society has known it came originally from simple words of wisdom like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and yet from the same book we discover what I find to be a compelling truth – that there are no degrees of “wrong” – there’s right and there’s wrong. I can hear the accusations of fundamentalism already but my make-up isn’t baked that way. I just agree with the sentiment of letting “him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

This reflection was brought about when I saw the aforementioned article and recalled a Facebook post from a few years back where some woman had been caught molesting children in a daycare – a horrible crime, but what scared me at the time was the mass of comments from Facebookers saying things like: “she should be tied to a chair and beaten and left to burn. I’ll light the match” and, “if you see this woman in the street spit in her face and pull her hair out”. Things to that effect. What further shocked me was the varying demographics of the virtual lynch mob – an elderly woman had left some equally vicious comments.

What a bunch of perfect, self-righteous hypocrites we are!

Warning: black comedy (with a sarcastically valid message) alert – if you’re sensitive, do not watch

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Additional: a friend pointed out that I should probably explain the context of the embedded video to avoid any misinterpretation. My reading of the video is that it’s a sarcastic comment intending the opposite message than that stated at the end of the video i.e. there is no excuse. I thought the patent absurdity of the situation was made clear (that level of reaction to… that?) If you’ve seen much in the way of scottish and irish humour you’d likely be used to its sometimes dark nature. I included the video in case someone reading this post thought I condoned or excused domestic violence in associates or friends. I do not. I just don’t think I have any right to judge them.

J William’s “Young Love” Re-release Promo

On Sunday I went to Illegal Musik’s photoshoot for the re-release of J Williams’ “Young Love” album.

Besides shooting a promo for Illegal (embedded below) I also intended to shoot the first item of our video magazine show, thinkdotreset.

Our presenter, Teri Pope fronted an item on Illegal Musik and the grind that goes into maintaining a career in the industry, from managing artists to managing an indie label. Mark – Illegal’s CEO – gave us a great interview and filled us in on the history of Illegal Musik but we had major technical issues with sound so we’ve had to put that item aside for now.

I constructed the Illegal Musik promo around Mark’s breakdown of Illegal’s approach – which is to make best use of the experience of creating and pushing Ill Semantics so they can provide support to their newer, younger artists. In that light I picked an old favourite Ills track of mine: “Outta Control”. It’s an awesome track with a great MPC constructed beat from CXL and a silky, groove-heavy hook from Patriarch (Mark’s MC alias).

If anyone cares, tell me what you think of the track – I think it’s great! : ).

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Making a music video

I’m working on the music video treatment for DJCXL’s debut single “My Love” featuring J Williams.

It’s an interesting juggling act: being a “new” artist launch coming from the genre of hip hop and featuring an established R&B label-mate means the video has to stay true to its overriding creative force (DJCXL – hip hop Producer) and yet maintain enough of the image and character of its major guest star (J Williams – R&B artist). J comes from a smooth, younger, female-demographic, R&B angle while CXL’s style is an older, rawer, rootsier hip hop aesthetic – in other words, the concept can’t be too polished, overly-commercial and “youthful” (like J) but it can’t be so raw, “real” and “mature” that J’s vibe doesn’t work with it.

As always, though, it’s about the music at the end of the day and fortunately the track is great and breezes by without any inkling of the aforementioned juggling act even raising its head – that “concern” is purely my own consideration to work through. Ultimately, my job is about finding the essence of both artists in the music and taking it from there.

Fingers crossed.

Behind the Scenes unedited

In early October Illegal Musik shot two music videos in one day – one for J Williams (R&B) and another for Junipah (Rock). I went along and captured some behind the scenes footage. I never had a chance to edit it up properly (like I did with Ghetto Flower’s Behind the Scenes clip) but Illegal wanted to get something out and they were happy with the rough cut-together I made for the crew not long after the shoot.

I created the music track (for something else) and since I have to edit to music and didn’t have access to either of the video tracks at the time, I slapped my track (“My Private Revolution“) over the top.

I would’ve preferred to do a proper edit as this clip has not been constructed in any way (I just grabbed some shots that were ok and slapped them in sequence) and I haven’t done any grading – but it’s good to have something out there and at least I don’t have to take more time to do the full edit : ).

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www.djcxl.com version 2.0 launched

Howdy y’all! I’ve been busy on version 2.0 of DJCXL’s dot com – and it’s finally gone live!

We’ve still got a bit to do but we’ll be rolling with regular video content and free mixes over the next short while. I guess this is as good a time as any to link to the new video by CXL’s boy – J Williams – who is signed to CXL’s label, Illegal Musik. Enjoy it yo!


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