Out of Focus: Dominican Jay, Tele Novella and Mindz of a Different Kind

Out of Focus

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

Dominican Jay “Under the Jail ft. $.Dot and Reggie Coby”

We might be three years removed from the League of Extraordinary G’z’s breakout album #LEAGUESHIT but the crew hasn’t exactly been resting on their laurels. LOEGZ affiliate Dowrong has been blowing up with help from Drake collaborator Eric Dingus and the individual members have been popping up in guest appearances on a number of local acts’ tracks. But Domincan Jay’s new track “Under the Jail” functions as a near complete reunion, with a hook from Reggie Coby and a verse from S.Dot over a beat mega hit producer Frank Dukes did for Danny Brown. I’ve been critical in the past of LOEGZ’s reliance on H-town style but “Under the Jail” is a refreshing change of pace, bringing out a new kind of swagger and verve in the veteran ATX crew (honestly it’s an upgrade on Danny Brown’s original take on the beat) and the video reflects that, simplifying things so it’s just the core trio rapping in front of a derelict building in hi-def black and white. Though it’s not officially a League track, it feels a lot like a comeback, and I’m excited to see if whatever comes next for LOEGZ is as startling and impactful.

Tele Novella “Heavy Balloon”

Recent Lockhart immigrants Tele Novella are no strangers to stylish and nostalgic videos, but Vanessa Pla’s new clip for their track “Heavy Balloon” is their most ambitious effort yet. Structured as a cult recruitment video, “Heavy Balloon” works in visual references to a number of nerd icons, from Carl Sagan to Princess Leia to various Star Trek species. It’s a fun twist on the “band partying with all your favorite people” trope and effortlessly communicates the geeky charm that makes Tele Novella such an enjoyable group.

Mindz of a Different Kind “For All ft. Abstract Rude and Myka 9”

It makes sense that nostalgic hip hop collective Mindz of a Different Kind would utilize the aesthetic of ’90s Native Tongues videos for their “For All” clip. Looking like a slightly updated twist on Arrested Development’s “Tennessee” video, “For All” alternates between overhead shots of the crew rapping in front of a rural shack and montages of police brutality and protest clips. Rob G gives the video a curious kind of mobility, with the camera very rarely static, instead flitting between perspectives, moving between extreme close-ups and medium shots of each emcee. It’s a clever reconfiguration of ’90s hip hop videos’ jump cuts, bringing more of the movement to the camera itself, eschewing fish eye lenses and other in-camera effects in favor of a more organic trick that forces you to stay on your toes. It’s also an interesting juxtaposition with Blueprint’s super chill beat, creating enough tension to make the video stand out completely from the audio while remaining simple enough to not thwart the song’s own intentions.

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