Minority history months always remind us to celebrate our past history. What about history that's being made right now?
The work of talented Fil-Am music video director Rik Cordero is worth celebrating in any occasion. Born in Queens and raised in Strong Island, the New York-based founder of Three/21 Films is making noise with his clever videos for the Roots, Nas and Snoop Dogg. Earlier this year, the FOBBDeep blog bestowed upon Cordero the honor of "FOBB of the Week."
Most of my favorite hip-hop videos are the less glitzy ones, like Sanji Senaka's video for the Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By" and the Beastie Boys' lo-fi "Three MCs and One DJ" video. Cordero's gritty work reminds me of those classic videos.
The first Cordero joint I ever saw was the Office Space-inspired video he directed for the Roots' "Get Busy." Cordero's dark-humored, torture imagery-filled video for the Roots' "75 Bars" is even doper.
Cordero made a powerful video for Nas' "Be A N****r Too," which contains cameos by John Cho, James Kyson Lee, Danny Hoch and former Wire cast members like Larry Gilliard Jr. (D'Angelo), Andre Royo (Bubs) and Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris).
In the "Sly Fox" video, Nas and Cordero bash the racist rhetoric of Babble O'Reilly and Fox News:
Changing music industry trends--like the fact that most viewers now prefer the Interwebs over MTV for their music video fix--have caused record labels to slash video budgets. So directors like Cordero have had to become more creative, like when he channeled R&B videos from the Donnie Simpson era of Video Soul in a lighter-hearted and more recent Three/21 video, for Q-Tip's "Move":
As Cordero and his Three/21 business partner Nancy Mitchell have said in a promo for their production company, Three/21 makes more than just hip-hop videos. They've also done videos for artists from other genres (Tigers and Monkeys, The Mighty Sweet) and both short and feature-length films.
Cordero's other videos can be viewed at Three/21's YouTube channel. This Pinoy filmmaker is going places.