Dear UK rappers, we need less “style” & more substance in your visuals please

The UK urban scene is growing at a rapid rate, with many artists from the scene accomplishing more wins than we could have imagined. 2017 has definitely started well for the scene. One thing the UK scene shouldn’t do is get complacent in any area of the game.

We are currently being blessed with a lot of banging tunes from UK artists, however in my opinion, the videos that accompany these songs need some major improvement, in terms of content. It’s all good having HD and 4K quality videos, but how many music videos have I seen where the video was so pointless that it makes the song itself seem temporary? The music video is one of the most important parts of the process when releasing a track of any genre. If you create a quality song and accompany it with an equally thought out visual that can capture and enhance the message, it will only add to the longevity factor.

We have reached a time where having a video for a song you are serious about, with just your boys or nice looking girls in the background, isn’t going to cut it. There’s nothing wrong with being creative if you really want to stand out as an artist, it comes with the territory. You have a chance to promote who you are, what you stand for and what your song means on a deeper level, if there is a deeper level. Some songs are just about girls and money, I get that, but even so, if you want to go abstract on a video concept you can.

If you’re a UK artist with a solid song, it will pay to take your time and come up with a unique storyline/concept for the video. It is the perfect opportunity to let your imagination run wild. Don’t allow lack of money to be a factor, A Level Media students have created videos with concepts to them, it’s not impossible. If the only feedback you’re getting about your video is “it’s wavy”, then guess what? There’s a high chance people won’t be watching it two years later because when the “waviness” fades, what you have left is another regular video.

Music videos are part of an artist’s brand, it gives them a chance to grab attention and promote themselves. Some of the visuals I have seen recently are not memorable in any way and do not make me want to know more about the artist, and what’s the point in that?

The lack of creativity in UK music videos play a big part in why I enjoy watching US music videos more. American artists put a lot of thought and effort in to their music and the visuals match up. Eminem‘s video for Stan is the first video that comes to my mind. It is evident that the video enhances the song into a timeless status. The same can be said of Kano’s ‘Signs In life‘ which is a personal favourite of mine and more recently ‘Nines – Yay‘, ‘Cadet – You Need to Hear This‘ and ‘Kano – T Shirt Weather in the Manor

I’ll agree that videos from US aren’t as consistent as they used to be but there’s no reason the levels can’t increase over here. There’s no excuse. No-one is asking for  a blockbuster film, but make a video that matches with the song you are trying to promote in terms of quality content. Style is great, it’s lovely. But it’s the content that will grab peoples attention and have them watching the video years later.

Words by Tonte

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