It's been a lively few weeks in the world of local rap videos, and it seems by and large like people are stepping up their visual game with better cinematography and storylines. Here are some of our recent favorites:
Kool John and Plane Jane, "Me x My Sis"
In the past week, Richmond's Kool John has released this video and a free mixtape, Live From The New Bay V.1. He and the wonderfully self-assured pal Plane Jane demonstrate the kick-back nature of "shmop living" over a woozy rework of Da Brat's "Funkdafied" instrumental.
Erk Tha Jerk, "Too Far"
A soulful cut from his Thirds Eye View mixtape, this video makes effective use of a simple black screen and the occasional photograph projected against Erk's body. Viewers can see the conviction in his words as he discusses personal and family history without being distracted by the typical rap video clichés.
Mistah F.A.B., "I'll Be Alright"
This video for FAB's take on Young Jeezy-style trap rap finds the Oakland artist playing an unusual role for a rapper -- a legitimate hustler of cleaning toilets, mopping floors, and peeling sweet potatoes at A Touch of Soul restaurant. A memorable juxtaposition, it might be one of F.A.B.'s most brilliant offerings yet.
C-Money featuring IAMSU, "Play That"
Richmond is so focused right now. And while this club scene idea isn't exactly breaking new video ground, the clip benefits from great edits that keep it stimulating. And they really look like they're having genuine fun.
Lil B, "Soul On The Streets"
And because it wouldn't be a normal week without at least 200 releases from Berkeley's infamously prolific Lil B -- okay, he put out two videos in the past seven days -- we include this video shot to a languid and moody freestyle that shouts out the armed services. Mainly because he's wearing a gorgeous flowered shirt with plaid pants.