If you’re at all familiar with Michigan hip-hop and Michigan music in general, then the name James Gardin (fka P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.) is commonplace. As one of Lansing’s premier music icons for the last decade, James has shown how to get down, how to dance, how to properly enjoy a live show, how to fight for a cause and how to live in general. More than that though, James has fueled the hip-hop community beneficially in other ways. Working with Michigan State’s MRULE and various other youth programs to donate art workshops, not to mention spending time in South Africa teaching kids with HIV/AIDS music and uniting them through it, James has never stopped being an influential and important figure in his community.
Musically, James has opened for the likes of Talib Kweli, The Cool Kids, Grieves and The Pack. He was also recently named one of Rapzilla’s Freshman of 2014.
Today we’re excited to unveil part one of our interview with the man himself! Check out the video below, and don’t forget to check out James’ pages and music!
Last week I explored music videos that went beyond the norm and extended the boundaries of a song. From Ice Cube’s feel-good video “It Was a Good Day” to the artistic turned cringe worthy “All I Know” by Rahzel, we here at Bonus Cut wanted to share a few of our favorite hip-hop music videos that stand out on a whole other level. This week I present to you the second part of that list, with music videos just as worthy as the ones mentioned last week.
The Cool Kids- “Black Mags”
A video about tricked out bikes over a song about tricked out bikes, so what’s not to love? For anyone who has an 89-90 Pistons champ flat-bill black starter cap with the hologram tags, you win the game.
Danny Brown- “Grown Up”
Over calming piano blips and a sample of Gorillaz’ “Tomorrow Comes Today,” Danny Brown talks about Captain Crunch, Newport soft packs and not doing homework all in the name of “growing up”. Last summer he released the music video and it surpasses the song on pure emotional consonance alone. Who would ever imagine little Danny Brown walking the streets with as much authority as he does now? This video is simplistic, yet it’s creative and highly addicting, so please, take a look for yourself.
Gang Starr- “Full Clip”
This video gets the nod because of everything surrounding it. Whether it’s the tribute to Big L, the combination of the late Guru and DJ Premier or the sincerity behind each scene, “Full Clip” is the definition of “timeless”.
Gorillaz- “Clint Eastwood”
Where were you when you first watched “Clint Eastwood?” It’s hard to think that this premiered 12 years ago, and it’s even harder to realize that this video pushed animated music videos greatly (I mean, look at those graphics). Nevertheless, “Clint Eastwood” will forever live in infamy for introducing 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, Russel, Damon Albarn’s post-Blur project Gorillaz, and Jamie Hewlett, the artist behind the band. It’s also natural that the blue phantom coming out of Russel’s head is the one and only Del tha Funkee Homosapien.
Also: if you want to see how far graphics in music videos have come, at least in the Gorillaz universe anyway, compare “Clint Eastwood” to this.
Pharoahe Monch- “Push”
Did he just say “runs the baseline like Ginobili?” Yes, in fact he did, and all NBA Finals allusions aside, this is the kind of music video where you’re listening to the music and watching the video and just sighing in relief because the two fit like melted butter on the perfect piece of burnt toast.
If film director Gasper Noé did hip-hop videos instead of freaky French films that disturbingly tore at the human mind, I could envision him directing “DOPE.” Here you have dizzying cameras that roll and pan around scenes, backwards time lapses and unique cut-framing, but unlike Noé’s work, there isn’t anything here that makes you want to gauge your eyes out with a fountain pen.
The Underachievers- “Gold Soul Theory”
The new-wave East Coast hip-hop scene is skyrocketing right now. I don’t know how influential these artists will be in the long-run, but as of now groups like The Underachievers, Flatbush Zombies, Pro Era, and individuals like A$AP Rocky and Harry Fraud are dominating the underground hip-hop waves. There isn’t much to “Gold Soul Theory’s” music video, but it’s transfixed as a ganj-soaked lapse that compliments the song quite well.
Y.N.RichKids- “Hot Cheetos & Takis”
Here we have a group of Minneapolis youths rapping about their two favorite snacks: Hot Cheetos and Takis. What’s even cooler is that this is a product of North Community Beats and Rhymes, a youth development program that gives kids a chance to record and create music that builds leadership skills and cultural tolerance. Programs like this are the reason why you’re reading Bonus Cut today.