Another summer gone.
As Minnesota’s best days pass us by, and the hours between daylight and moonlight grow shorter and shorter, we need reasons to keep grasping for life. In true Game of Thrones fashion, as soon as shit seems calm and copacetic, winter threatens.
All hyperbole aside, enjoy these days before they shrink down to eight cold hours.
The good news is that Fall doesn’t officially begin until September 22. There are still a few fleeting weeks left to enjoy rides down the Greenway and outdoor farmer’s markets. Before the state’s artists all hole themselves up in their drafty apartments for the winter, here are some of the last fruits this music video season will produce fresh.
50 Tyson (ft. SickDaPunchLiner) -- “How I’m Rocking”
After going viral for his awkward bathroom freestyles back in 2012, 50 Tyson has struggled to regain his credibility. But 2017 has been a reclamation year for the mumble rapper with autism, as he’s repositioned himself as a caustic, whirring club rapper, even going so far as to beef with Lil Yachty.
The mastermind behind this revival has been St. Paul rapper/producer and WeTeam100 label owner SickDaPunchliner, who features in 50’s latest video, “How I’m Rocking.” There’s not much to digest in the video for this track. In disjointed, deeply Auto-Tuned verses, 50 Tyson and his manager build momentum for the rapper’s return, punctuating their statement with the take-home line, “50 Tyson, bitch I’m back/ Bout to teach you how to rap.”
CRAM -- “HHH”
No one in the Twin Cities gives less of a shit than CRAM. The super steezy five-piece from Minneapolis make some of the most irreverent, showboating rap music on the scene, and their latest single “HHH” (unfortunately not a WWE reference) shows just how warped their version of reality can be.
The closing track from their April EP, Eat Ass, “HHH” is a flamboyant sendoff for the group’s first major project. In it, the smarmy emcees swag out uncontrollably, leaning into their grimy reputation as director Nate P. zooms in and out, coloring the crew in cartoonish absurdity.
Another Heaven -- “Starfall” (Live)
Another Heaven’s Ali Jaafar is running a stable of gloomy Twin Cities all-stars through his Ecstattic Studio. The studio just put out a compilation called Closer to the Sun that includes, among others, Double Grave, No Kim, Diie, and Gramma’s Boyfriend. But the jewel of the stable is of course Another Heaven, who return with their new video for “Stafall,” recorded live at Ecstattic.
“Starfall” is, coincidentally, also the opening track to Closer to the Sun, introducing the studio to the unfamiliar with a wall of shoegazey feedback. The visuals, provided by Jaafar, match the chaos of the song with washed-in, abstract shots cut together wantonly over the cathartic noise.
Ice God the Macgyver -- “Nina Simone”
To create the technicolor new video for Ice God the Macgyver's “Nina Simone,” video directors Common Culture took the Minneapolis rhymer to the golf course and let their imaginations run wild. While Ice God leans back in his cart, the directors recolor the background so it matches the over-saturated world they see when they close their eyes.
Produced by Tornado Jelly, “Nina Simone” is an easy single that shows Ice God at his most relaxed. The song seems to naturally spring from the young rappers, coming forth in a conversational yarn with an unceremonious sing-rap hook. Look out for Ice God the Macgyver in the A.V. Club’s 2017 Year in Band Names review, where he will undoubtedly join Bad Bad Hats and Marijuana Deathsquads among the worst-named musical acts of the year.
Lena Elizabeth -- “Soldier”
Minneapolis singer-songwriter Lena Elizabeth’s voice comes over you smooth as waves of cream, so it’s no wonder her new video shows her soaked up to her eyebrows in a bath of milk. Elizabeth’s single “Soldier” is a song of heartbreak delivered as cool and seamlessly as a purr. Chorus after chorus, Elizabeth sings her sultry sorrow.
Elizabeth celebrated the release of her debut EP The Line on August 30 at Icehouse. The 23-year-old’s debut is an impressive turn, as the hypnotic “Soldier” illustrates. Kudos to video director/editor Andrew Hatling for capturing the spirit of the young musician with his work on the video.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]