Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shae Parka ("Talking French")

This months cover by Aleksandar Ares.
Layout by K.K.W

Music now: Shae Parka's "Talking French". By K.K.W

They say " imitates art.." (1) and vice versa; and when it comes to the world of Hip-Hop, like other musical forms,  the same is true.
Shae Parka as "Shae Chaplin" 
"Talking French" is the latest release from Parka (& his first music video) showing his ambition, creativity and drive. Taking part f his look and style for the video from Charlie Chaplin, "Talking French" is a visual splice between 3 alternate realities showcasing a non-linear story that borders on art. 

While the video is seriously good, some of the color scenes seem like home-movie footage, which may have been on purpose. The black & white scenes are exceptional in its way, mimicking the noir-look, style and feel of the Chaplin era. The movement from one reality to the next, scene to scene is at times extremely well done showing top-notch editing, cinematography and art direction.

The song itself is arguably one of Parka's best, with intricately crafted lyrics that seem to go with the theme of the Chaplin-like story line. And there is the crux of the whole thing, is Parka just adopting something of the tramps style and look to further his own game? Is he making a statement about reversal of fortune, "minstrel shows" (Hollywood & the black-face era)? A challenge to the status-quo cleverly disguised as narcissism, personal struggle, and hip-hop bravado?

In a way I think its all these things, though perhaps not consciously. However you choose to look at "Talking French", the fact is its an amazing, ambitious video thats far better then most others at Parka's level.   
A scene for the beginning. The name of the
television network is actually the name
of Parka's label "NightShift Records".
And one of the programs, "City Of Walls",
is the name of a graphic novel by Abede Lovelace
who appears in & helped with the video.
Image courtesy of the artist.

Shae Parka - AKA: Steven C Griffen II.
Image courtesy of the artist.
If you would like to know more, go to: Art is the reason, art is the way. (1) from The Decay of Lying, by Oscar Wilde.

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