UK Hip Hop: Artists & Discographies
Kenyatta (Kid Krumbs) - Killin' It Video
Kenyatta - Kilin' It video grab
Kenyatta - Kilin' It video grab
Completely out of the blue Shaun Phillips got in contact about his new project with his long time collaborator Kenyatta Warren aka Kid Krumbs formerly of the Roots crew. For one reason or another this coverage has been severely delayed, firstly Shaun had a virus which messed everything up, then we both had to find out about the intricacies of converting NTSC to Pal, and finally I had computer problems of my own which delayed things further. Suffice to say at the present time I can only view Pal versions of stuff and as described later this does have implications for this video. Shaun went out of his way to make sure that I received something I could play and it is definitely worth the wait. 

The video its self to me appears to have been made virtually without a budget, but that hasn't really detracted from its appeal, if anything it keeps the video real and hardcore and in that sense reflect the lyrics perfectly. The grimy camera tracks Kenyatta initially in his yard as he explains how his going to 'show us how this ghetto life really is'. There is more than one basic angle here though, one of the main features of the video is the fast cuts and frame edits which may not be as smooth after the conversion from 30 frames per second NTSC to 25 frames per second Pal. The fast cuts switch between angles and close ups, but there is also quite a few scenes which are integrated in a way which keeps the video evolving throughout. Kenyatta in the main is seen rapping directly to the camera, but in different situations. The main scenes are the afore mentioned Kenyatta in his yard, rapping with cut aways to him building a blunt, Kenyatta walking down his street, in an empty multi story car park, briefly on his porch and later out in the country under a tree.

As stated one of the main themes of this video is the fast cuts, but also the relevant inserted video clips which accentuate certain lyrics. Some of the scenes are rather disturbing and the images linger on in your thoughts after viewing. The first is animated stick men fighting - you may have seen this come in the email, but there is also stills of the New York skyline and a montage of Roots covers. Other inserts include a man doing is grocery shopping being run over just as Kenyatta says, 'We don't feel no way if a pussy gets killed today', and a whole host of other people dying in various ways from gunshots to car crashes to having trees fall on them. When Kenyatta mentions having a flashback Shaun cleverly cuts in footage from the earlier Pass The Popcorn tack from the Roots which he also directed back in 1993. While in some respects there are many clichés used here the video at the same time is fresher and a whole heap less pretentious videos which spend hundreds of thousands tracking artists in the back of limos or at pool parties, so despite its limitations this video does it for me and has had several repeat viewings.

The track itself is back to basics Hip Hop and is pretty heavy, there are some tough lyrics to deal with but also the beat is harsh, but addictive as well. Kenyatta is on his way back, but don't expect any blinging here, this is the real deal. Kenyatta is Killin' It and I'm letting you know that I'm feeling it! Also on the CD was the old Pass The Popcorn video, which unfortunately is looking well dated now, but it is interesting to see everyone looking so young in it. Additionally this transfer suffered from over compression of the audio with everything reducing in volume whenever the double bass played. The new stuff from Special Ops to check for includes Anticipated, an understated flute backing over which Kenyatta gets manic with the whole track sounding as if it is phasing. 

Contact Shaun Phillips on: mailto:[email protected]

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