video premiere: alt. hip-hop duo bonelang defy genre norms with jazz-inspired “sunflower drips”

August 29, 2017
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More spoken word jazz than straightforward rhyming schemes and gimmicks, ‘Sunflower Drips’ by hip-hop duo Bonelang is a kinetic tribute to Kanye’s “All Day” and the great works of Charles Bukowski. A brooding, yet, peaceful premonition that foretells Egyptian-American lyricist Samy’s potential suicide should he ever give up music and writing, the track is an intensely personal and incredibly human view into the soul of an artist. ‘Sunflower Drips’ finds an artist trapped between the age-old battle between creating art for money or for simply for art’s sake.

“JP O’Rourke and myself approached this video, we wanted to come at it from a really raw and exposing angle,” Samy.Language tells AFROPUNK. “The video was inspired by Kanye West’s video for “All Day” directed by Steve McQueen. This video was completely improvised in three takes on a beach in Malibu. We drove up Highway 1 smoking weed looking for a place to shoot until we scaled down a cliff to this really secluded area. We wanted it to be an intimate experience between nothing but the artist and the camera. That’s why we decided to do the whole video handheld rather then doing some beautiful smooth tracking shot. We wanted the jaggedness of the camera to compliment the jaggedness of the flow.”

To Charles,

When I was 18 years old I went to a poetry reading on Chicago’s far north side at the Green Mill. I was told that’s where the real one’s hang. I went with a professor of mine. A poet. I read for the first time that night and people clapped. My professor patted me on the back. I used a fake ID to buy myself a scotch. It made me feel a step ahead. That same year I got my heart broken for the first time, or perhaps I broke my first heart. I can’t remember. But I remember feeling that I understood. I remember convincing myself that it wasn’t my fault. That I was the center of the cosmos and phenomena was the world constructing itself around me as I’d walk down sidewalks, bed down with someone who never told me their middle name, cheat bartenders like death, etc.

It wasn’t until a year later that I found you and upon this discovery I was forced to deal with myself for the first time. You showed me what wretched accountability looks like. You showed me the dangerous beauty of self-awareness. You showed me what it might look like to be an old-head that’s lived with oneself fearlessly and without apology. You are why I will die unabashedly myself and for this I thank you.