Hannah Brontë shares some of the classic music videos that inspired her to create hip-hop feminist posse track-and-video Still I Rise for Next Wave Festival 2016.
Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us
This video gets me emotional! MJ kills it, creating a huge army of performers and walking the streets of Brasil. I’ve always felt this song was more powerful then anyone realised and his message is still relevant. It talks about getting kicked down over and over. He sings with venom and yet the clip is so visually uplifting. It’s a beautiful contrast and MJ will forever be the King of Pop.
Wu-Tang Clan – Gravel Pit
Forever pushing the boundaries and eccentric MCs everyone’s favorite uncles, it’s the WU. This film clip takes us to a time when dinosaur roam among fur clad women and the crew in the desert. I remember watching this on Rage early on a Saturday morning and knowing I wanted to make film clips.
Busta Rhymes – Gimme Some More
Busta is a double time rapper; his flow is insane. This matched with the bizarre imagery in this clip is amazing. Think hip hop meets dr zeus, twisted with some oversized pimp hats and you have “Gimme Some More”. Compared to many of his peers, Busta kept it bizarre and pushed the boundaries to create memorable visuals to match his rapid fire spitting. This clip is another bizarre hip hop twist using humour and a visually acidic wardrobe.
Queen Latifah, Yo Yo, TLC, MC Lyte, Nefertiti, Salt N Pepa, Patra, Meshell Ndegeocello – Freedom
This is one of my favourite clips ever, the song is powerful showing all these female artists and visuals of the Black Panther movement. The 100 women strong chorus in the middle makes me want to develop and create bigger scale works. It’s a simple clip, but every woman is a strong performer so it makes this video powerful.
Kelis – Caught Out There
The original crazy ex-girlfriend. My woman, Kelis. This clip is so dark, overlayed with the Neptunes beat and Kelis screaming the chorus. Fav part is her peach and pink afro bouncing as she trashes the entire room. Second favourite, the placard-armed women marching down the street. Everything about the lighting and each scene change is delicious. Always a go to after any messy break up, trust me.
Outkast – B.O.B.
The beat alone is bizarre so the visuals had to match. Altered colours, making the grass purple immediately takes you to Outkast’s world. André 3000 running with the children as he spits his first verse got me hooked. 3 Stacks and Big Boi have a lot of clips to pick from but this one for me is emblematic of their DGAF attitude and wildly strong aesthetic.
M.I.A. – Boyz
Feels like my drawing books coming alive. Love this video’s energy and animation. The colour scheme and the laid back dancing is such a vibe. I’m all about these visuals. MAYA 5eva, she just chills through multiple excellent costume changes and owns the video.
Missy Elliott ft. Ludacris and Trina – One Minute Man
“Welcome to the Get Ur Freak On Hotel.” Missy Elliot 5eva! Trina and Luda come in for this one, the Get Ur Freak On hotel is haunted with moving torsos, gyrating beds, overflowing tubs and dancing bell girls. Missy has so many amazing music videos, but this one being lesser known I had to choose it. The story is off-beat, the colours and the set are lavish and, as always, the choreo is on point.
Missy Elliott – The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
This is the First video Missy ever made with Hype Williams. Anyone who can make a garbage bag look good using just a fish eye lens is a genius. I love the yellow and lime matching tracksuit on deep purple background. Timbaland, Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George of SWV, Yo Yo, Lil’ Kim, Total, 702, Da Brat, Lil’ Cease and Puff Daddy are all in there. She has the whole crew muck around on set and it comes out as much wilder visuals then the actual song itself.
Yothu Yindi – Treaty
This was made the year I was born and can you believe 25 years later we still ain’t got one! This song marked the failed promise of the Australian government to honour their promise to make a treaty with the Indigenous people. This film clip is a celebration of Mob and it just makes ya feel deadly! Check 1.43 the kids with the boom box, fav still!
Hannah Brontë is interested in the empowerment of women and her explorations of this are deeply influenced by hip-hop and protest culture. Her textile works explore patterns made from oestrogen camouflage, creating vivid, adornments for her characters within the video. A deep sense of hope and humour amidst the reality stays present in her body of work. Every work is created with her female ancestors at her side.