This post combines a bunch of the things I love, rap music, documenting the streets, social commentary and slick editing. Growing up as a kid in the 80's I loved rap music and devoured as much of it as I could. Again, it being the 80's, a lot of the time that meant watching rap videos. Its no big surprise that rap videos died as an art form circa Puff Daddy's introduction of rap video as cinematic masterpieces of useless garbage and stereotypical imagery (remember Mase anyone?). Since then rappers have been dancing in front of spotlights, showing off jewels, bottles, cars and girls in a fake gangster persona much to the delight of 14 year olds everywhere.
I rarely watch a good rap video these days so when I stumbled upon The Motion Family on vimeo I was surprised and then ultimately blown away by these incredible artists. The Motion Family rep Atlanta and are made up of David KA, Sebastian Urrea and Diwang Valdez. There videos for Yelawolf's Pop the Trunk, Pill's Trap Goin Ham, Jackie Chain's Mack a Bitch, among many others, are getting some serious love. According to the brief summaries left by The Motion Family most of these videos seem to be shot documentary style or classic "cinema vertie", basically turn the camera on and see what kind of crazy shit you can capture! As in the case of Jackie Chains video
"This was literally shot on the spot, while we were with Jackie at a local club. In one take with $100 bills flashing, loaded pistols drawn, one big belly and some rather raunchy b-roll, we were able to make it happen."
My favorite video has to be Pill's Trap Goin Home, not only is Pill one of the best artists I've heard in a long time, the video is crazy. Shot in his neighbourhood of "Pink City" in Atlanta, the viewer is taken through the bleak realities of this neighbourhood with no exploitation or glamorization of the events or places, just the reality of life in poor American cities today. The Motion Family are able to give you the REAL truth, just showing you what's there, these are truly short documentaries in their own right. The fellas have a great eye for capturing people and places and the editing is super slick, basically I love it all! Listen to Pill describe how the videos are created.
The Motion Family are true artists, creating videos, design work, photography, they really do it all. I was inspired a lot by these videos, and the artists in them, looking forward to checking out whatever The Motion Family is up to next, Im a fan for life! Thanks for brining back the lost art of the rap video....
P.S. Had to give a lot of love to Zach Wolfe on vimeo as well, who's video for Pill's Glass is a masterpiece in black and white documentary video making as well!!
Check out and support these artists -