Underground Hip-hop – CHESS – Behind the Seams

Posted on January 30, 2011


Chess Video Shoot – That so-called

“Behind the Scenes” Look

To begin, Behind the Scenes itself was a 1908 film directed by D.W. Griffith…but…nah, we don’t really care about that right now…this is about that Mickey Boston, Big Brosky clip shot at the beginning of May 2010, right?

You are Correct.

I am actually pleased to commercial that this was my FULL self-directed video and was a lot of work? In all sincerity, yes and no…I jacked the chairs off McGill University’s Leacock building, but the truth of the matter was, I asked some porter dude, but he wasnt really the Leacock porter…I borrowed the chairs and gave em back–nothing more to it than that…

One thing that had me stoked, as my man Rough Draft would say, was getting in touch with Toly from 21production, here have a look yourself and see how nice that feels:


I really like this part on his site:

I worked in film for five years on the west coast was in a smash and grab and was drugged at a club, ended up in the hospital. I make art house films – Toly A.K. I keep the burnin, along with the few friends on this thin raft- one cries a river-the other burns of fire

In essence…I was just pleased to meet the man and we spoke in the heat over some strawberries while my man Tuthree (and director of photography) was parking the ride with all the supplies in there…

The chess board itself came from Mr. Weyes who was actually in Mexico while archival footage was a pleasure to work, especially working the reels…Sam Jamous came down alongside fellow hip-hop brother in rhyme Mad Gab, the el-Gabacho…

we got rolling, the rest was history…

Natural you say?

Gabacho wasnt nervous, he just looked in the camera a couple times he told me…I find no sweat in that, we can do the Merlin stuff in post-production…

He bopped his head to the beat, we played Chess in the heat…


Photograph of tri-lingual lyrical acrobat, Mad Gabacho.

Downtown Montreal is gorgeous in May and I had to take it to Jacques Austerlitz…

Yes, Indeed people…this was undeniably another extension of my musical activism in the form of Chess which highlighted nothing more than an attempt to not just look fly in a clip, yeah I always do that, but to bring out what was to be a witty underpinning of how specific leaders, after the adoption of heavy industrial killing machinery in the modern world, had lead their nations to notorious destruction.

The opening scene of the novel Austerlitz, with its curious intertwining of human and animal experiences, in a Nocturama-like railway station, struck me as really powerful yet odd, and informed my entire reading thereafter.

I read the novel when I did my Master’s and felt its sheer brilliance…

In Austerlitz, author W. G. Sebald performed what was to be a small but significant miracle: a wresting of the Holocaust out of the clutches of stale cliche. You see, this author highlights this by means of never ever showing readers a death camp or a gas chamber.

In the video for Chess on the other hand, the footage just doesnt stop in context of destruction–not only is it visible on the chess board but also in the entire clip itself.

Instead, Sebald’s novel concentrates on the wreckage of one man’s life. Orphaned as a young boy during the Nazi occupation of Prague, Jacques Austerlitz devotes the rest of his life to finding out who he really is and what happened to his parents, and all the while he is haunted by the feeling that he is living a borrowed life.

The significant issue for Sebald is not memory in an overall generic sense, however, but the point at which the cost of not remembering supersedes protective strategies for survival, the moment later in life when early, often horrific repressed knowledge or experience move center stage in a person’s life.

Displaced from both his home and his identity in the early part of the Second World War, Jacques Austerlitz is one of Sebald’s loners or outsiders, who late in life is driven to interpret fragmented dreams, suppressed memories, recreate his past–to essentially recover himself.

Sebald’s introduction of the character of Jacques Austerlitz as one of the creatures in the waiting room, dwarf species looking miniaturized (6-7), definitely inscribes Austerlitz in an animal reign.

Almost at the other end of the book, Austerlitz recalls his wanderings in the Jardin des Plantes with Marie de Verneuil: Marie particularly asked me to take a photograph of this beautiful group [of fallow deer], and as she did so, said Austerlitz, she said something which I have never forgotten, she said that captive animals and we ourselves, their human counterparts, view one another à travers une brèche dincompréhension. (264) The sentence captures this incomprehension, as its movement takes us from one instance, human or animal, to the other, but always keeping them isolated between commas.

Tyrannies, governments and regimes alongside their distinct leaders have, in some form or fashion in large part, used and exploited the lives of peasants or the bourgeois populace.

There is much that I wanted to capture in one clip and the particular presence of the little girl between the chess players was salient to the message I was trying to capture and get across to my audience. The child herself is a little Iranian girl and my statement here was verging towards the conceit of the nation of Iran itself–will specific nations of this world play Iran like they did during the Iran-Iraq War

The Iranian child between the two chess players is the garden of innocence, she symbolizes all the children who have died in contemporary wars around the world. The corrupt fail to care about how individuals are dying and how they are exploited like pawns on a chess board.

Despite the fact that the clip is laden with death and sadistic images, my direction of the clip was to also bring images of the Argentinian-born revolutionary, Dr. Che Guevera to the fore.

Geuvera has been popularized within the confines of our contemporary popular culture, however, despite the givens his ambition and drive for equality for peasants was utterly undeniable. His stand for all South Americans and indegenous populaces lead him to his great passing, as he left behind a legacy larger than any Bolivian mountain.

To close, I just want to thank Sam Jamous, Toly, el Gabacho, Queen Misriyaa, Michael Sabah and TuThree (Director of Photography) for without you this project would not have been possible