There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Blackillac “Juice It Up”
If Atlanta did an Austin episode, it’s practically a certainty that some kind of riff on Juiceland would appear. Until then, we’ll have to make do with Blackillac’s “Juice It Up” clip, where Zeale and Phranchyze take over the local juice dispensary for a late night party as part of a scheme to pay off a debt. Dino Maglaris’ direction has that Atlanta mix of desperation and whimsy, particularly in a beat halting interlude featuring some stray wypipo, making it more than your average product placement fueled video. Hopefully some casting directors are tuning in along with the juice guzzling hordes, though, because Zeale and Phranchyze might just be hip hop’s best comedic duo since Method Man and Redman.
Fools “Electric Shock Therapy”
Fools have ambitiously set out to make 12 songs and 12 videos this year, releasing them each month as 2019 counts down. That kind of forced constraint gimmick often leads to disaster but I trust that Fools can pull it off, their bratty rock ‘n’ roll masks a seriously intense work ethic. Case in point: February entry “Electric Shock Therapy” already stood out as one of Fools’ finest moments in single form and now it’s got a Day of the Dead-esque video to make it even more delightful. Framed as CIA footage from 1989 of an experiment to bring about the fall of the USSR via a rock band comprised of hard partying reanimated soldiers, Jacob Miguel’s “Electric Shock Therapy” is a campy and absurd portrayal of the band’s brain meltingly catchy song. It’s also handy evidence that the best way to make and release 12 videos in a year is to lean in to simple but bonkers ideas.
Sertified and Pirscription “Voodoo”
Austin hip hop videos tend to come in one of three flavors– house parties (with or without guns), posturing tours of the city or vehicle showcases, usually involving boats or bikes– so it’s refreshing to see Eric Sattler bring some of that ’90s Gravediggaz energy to Sertified and Pirscription’s Gain Gang collaboration “Voodoo.” As you’d expect from the title, “Voodoo” is full of occult imagery, from voodoo dolls to crystal balls to eerie lights. Sertified and Pirscription rise to the occasion too, mugging it up for the camera in front of walls of candles and superstitious totems. If Sattler can keep this up, he might just fill the Hype Williams niche this city’s hip hop scene so desperately needs.
A bit more surprising in its occult leaning visuals is Super Thing Productions’ video for T$O’s “Microwave.” You go into a track like “Voodoo” expecting the supernatural but something called “Microwave” seems more likely to feature, I don’t know, sparks and explosions amidst domesticity. But instead “Microwave” prominently features a Necronomicon-like manual for that most magical of household appliances, presumably to help hungry local artists bring forth demons for their music biz bidding. The end result is more Evil Dead than Belly and has more twists than any hip hop video I’ve ever seen. Don’t blame me if you start viewing your microwave with more fear than usual after hitting play.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover