Sunday, December 09, 2012

Don't Use Drugs Rap - From Unity's Vault

Here's a special video from The Vault as they say.  Actually the first time this home video clip was ever shown publicly was last week at my 'Friends and Family Talent Show' as part of our 3 day Wedding celebration in Tulum, Mexico.  (more pics and vids of that to come).

I wasn't sure if I would ever show this movie or not to my friends and family, but given so many of our crew brought their A-game to the stage during our Talent Show...I figured if not then, when!?

After numerous requests since the debut last week, I decided to post the video and share it more broadly. Why not?... it's a part of my history, youth, and upbringing afterall...

A few comments for context:
  • Please remember this was the mid 80's. Additionally, this was shot with one of the first home video camcorders. I did all the editing myself and was learning on the fly.  
  • At the time (and still now), I was heavily influenced by a movie called Wild Style.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community (Iowa City, IA) where they had an art house theater where they played this film. This is the first movie I'm aware of to have breakdancing in it and it changed my world. I was also lucky enough at the age of 11 to be able to go see this film, in big part to my great friend Orion Meyer, a tastemaker and bon vivant always way ahead of every trend and style.  
  • By way of context, the purpose of the video was for a homework assignment that I did for elementary school.  Basically, I transformed the book report assignment into a video project likely because I wasn't used to conventional homework projects (but that's another story). 
  • This was how I dressed in that era all the time.  The black jacket was my favorite article of clothing and I rarely took it off.  The tie must have been added for affect.  I've always been a super fan of hats, but this one was a favorite.  
  • I don't recall the song I'm spinning, but I think I bought it in a record store in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Capital of the world. I think I was hunting for rap albums and this was what I found. I used to try to scratch and spin on my folks turn table as best I could.  I never got that down.  
  • My two favorite parts of the video are when I keep looking down at a sheet of paper with the lyrics and also about 3:30 into the video when my mom makes a cameo appearance and enters in the background apparently doing laundry. I wave her off with my head and the show goes on. All done in one take...

And the film that started it all: Wild Style.  Groundbreaking in so many ways...