Hip-hop and rap are very good at self-aggrandisement, of showing off, revelling in personal gain and glorifying material wealth. So it is wonderfully refreshing to come across videos like Shocking Place and artists like Drive With Me who are about raising social awareness and acts of altruism. It also shows that the artist has an awareness of just how powerful music and film can be, especially when used together to become more than the sum of their parts.
Shocking Place is an eye opener, a real look into the dark underbelly of modern society, a place where the forgotten and the dispossessed try to eek out a difficult existence, in some cases struggling to merely survive. And with a track that blends old-school swagger and modern sonic exploration, trippy electronica, trap-rap skittering beats and an urgency and angst to the vocals that underlines the desperation of the situation, it forms the perfect desolate sound track to the situation.
An ode to the City of Fallen Angels, to Lost Angeles, a reminder that as much as politicians promise change, nothing does, its a call to arms, but arms that will embrace and bring hope to those who have fallen through the cracks of society. Change comes one song, one video, one gesture at a time. What are you going to do to help bring change?