Check Out These Amazing New Music Videos From Sam Lao, Quaker City Night Hawks and Erykah Badu.
If there is a case to be made that, through the devolution of MTV from a music-inclined station to a teenage pop culture and reality TV receptacle, the importance of the music video as an art form has also dwindled, well, the musicians of North Texas just aren’t having it.
This week alone, we’ve seen an abundance of phenomenal music videos released by area musicians. In addition to the stunning (and dangerous!) Tiger+Man clip for “Paper Cranes” that we premiered last week, we present below three more glorious examples of the music video being alive and well here on the home front.
Each of the following is well worth a few minutes of your time.
Director: Jeremy Biggers.
What we’ve already said about this music: “From the opening splashes of the scorching album kickoff ‘Reminder (Bitch I’m Me)’ to the vibe-y, Erykah Badu-honoring ‘Be Cool,’ the Nas-sampling ‘If I’ and beyond, SPCTRM establishes Sam Lao as artist who can’t be boxed in. Want something a little grimy? Hit play on ‘Pineapple.’ Need proof that Sam can rhyme as strongly as anyone else around these parts? Check out ‘Grenade.’ Don’t buy that this undeniable force can pen a pop song, too? ‘Higher’ will downright shame your ass.” — Pete Freedman
What else you should know about this video: Directed by Sam Lao’s husband, the multi-hyphenate artist Jeremy Biggers and the man behind so many of Dallas hip-hop‘s more memorable music videos of recent memory, “Pineapple” once again finds the director flexing his prowess with colorful, striking visuals. Here, those efforts result in an undeniably fun jaunt that feels as flirty as it does dangerous — much like the song it’s supporting. We’ve been saying since we heard it that Sam Lao’s new SPCTRM LP seems primed to turn the singer-rapper into a star beyond regional limitations; this visual only backs that assertion up. It’s just a matter of it finding the right eyeballs, really.
Director: Charlie Terrell, with illustration by Charlo Nocete.
What we’ve already said about this music: ” Quaker City’s third full-length was recorded with local studio ace Beau Bedford at the helm, meaning this one, too, is exquisitely produced. Noisey previously described the opening cut as sounding like it was recorded by “a gang of sci-fi-obsessed ZZ Top superfans who’ve gone rogue,” which is really just a clever way of saying they’ve found a way to make dirty ol’ run-of-the-mill blues rock sound strange and interesting again. And is it!” — Cory Graves
What else you should know about this video: The QCNH boys have been on fire since the release of their third LP, El Astronauta, earlier this year as their album — which blends country, blues and psychedelia in more varied ways than previously heard from the band — has rightly earned the group praise and ZZ Top comparisons from such national outlets as Noisey and Rolling Stone. This video, which was debuted by the RS folks and finds the band illustrated as graphic novel-like superheroes (a dream come true for most anyone, we imagine), only further hammers home the point that the QCNH crew is ready for primetime. It’s a stunning clip for one of El Astronauta‘s best songs — and as solid an advertisement as any, we’d say, that these Fort Worthians are ready to save any and every city it visits on tour from the doldrums of its own local music scene.
Song: “”Maiysha (So Long).”
Director: Erykah Badu.
What we’ve already said about this music: “[During her one-woman show] Badu would (perhaps obviously) herself get musical, too. First, she employed a loop machine to beat-box and craft live a soundscape that she’d use as background noise for a follow-up skit. Later, she would sing: She performed ‘Out My Mind, Just In Time’ beautifully; but her pitch-perfect ‘Ode To The Office,’ which followed her couch potato sketch and appropriately saw the words ‘That’s what she said!’ repeatedly blasted onto a screen behind her after such lyrical nuggets as ‘being hard’ and ‘so long,’ was designed for and earned bigger laughs.” — Pete Freedman
What else you should know about this video: It’s been a trip watching this song evolve over the past eight months or so. First time we heard it was back in October 2015 at the debut of Badu’s live theater debut, Live Nudity — Meditate on Deez, when it was presented as the Michael Scott-adoring “Ode To The Office” (see: the song’s “That’s what she said!” refrains). A few weeks later, contemporary jazz hero Robert Glasper brought his perspective to it, helping Badu remodel it as an update to Miles Davis’ “Maiysha (So Long)” as part of a performance for Buzzfeed. Later, their collaboration became even more realized when it was added to the Glasper-helmed soundtrack for the Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead. In this clip, things come full circle, with Badu once again appearing as an actress performing the song for a stage — only this time as her prima donna alter ego Sarah Bellam. Never forget: Back when she was student Erica Wright at Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Badu studied dance; and later, at Grambling, she studied theater. So, basically, no matter the medium, she’s got this.