By now it should be a foregone conclusion that anything related to the late, great, Charles Bukowski is probably going to get some love on here. This next contribution comes from a group of fellow literary heads slouching toward nirvana. The good folks at VidWest Media teamed up with the Art of Alexander Landerman and DJ Imaginary Friend for a unique visual experience all in tribute to the Buk.
The subtle scratches of the DJ layered over Bukowski’s beautifully nihilistic verse is powerful yet understated. The cameras fast motion scenes displaying the re-creation Charles’ image with charcoal chalk and paper make for a stunning conglomeration. This is what artistic collaboration is meant to be: focused, captivating, shared, moving.
Unlike the last Bukowski related post I think Charles might actually endorse this use of his likeness, because it is art for the sake of art (with just an inkling of self promotion), but mostly because it is all about him, and what writer doesn’t enjoy a healthy (or unhealthy) portion of narcissism, especially one as gluttonous as Chuck?
When it comes to hip-hop, there exists a clear line between rapper and artist. Brooklyn native Sene would undoubtedly fall into the latter category. His first full length release, a collaborative endeavor with west coast emcee/producer/enigma Blu, featured jazzy, doo-wop inspired production coupled with dextrous and earnest lyrics. There was a promise about the young emcee that was tangible yet somehow elusive throughout each of the album’s 14 tracks.
The promise was realized with the recent release of Sene’s latest effort, “brooklyknight.” The dissonant instrumentals and more abstract lyricism create an enthralling sound scape making for one of (if not the) best hip-hop albums of the year. Sene has clearly matured and come into his own as an artist. This was apparent even before a single track from the project was even released. While most album trailers feature a predictable stream of interviews, song clips and “behind-the-scene” sessions, Sene took the concept one step further by creating short films that reveal more about the album and creative process than any sneak-peak ever could.
In these films the audience is introduced to a protagonist at odds with the world, and himself. He contemplates inspiration, artistic expression and what it really means to be from Brooklyn. Confused, but determined to create, the artist is revealed and the motive becomes assured, which makes for a viewing experience that is all-too-rare and that should make like-minded hip-hop heads, head back to the drawing board.