"It was the funky beat that really hooked me," says filmmaker Jesse Land about selecting the song featured in his debut music video production. The track is "Introduction of Hate Music," which was written and recorded by Madison hip-hop artist OX. Produced by DJ Curfew (also known as Jonas Angelet), the song was released on OX's 2005 album Syllabus.
Land and his team at Brickhouse Pictures worked with the emcee nearly a year ago to shoot the video around the Bassett neighborhood in downtown Madison.
The filmmaker met OX late in 2005, and between them an idea for a music video was hatched. It was the first undertaking by Brickhouse, a Madison-based filmmaking team then consisting of director e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and photographer Frank Fehrman along with the producer Land. "We decided it would be a good project to cut our teeth on," he said, before moving on to longer film projects.
They shot the video on a cold Saturday afternoon in February 2006. OX explains his role in the production.
The Daily Page: How did you end up making this music video?
OX: Jesse Land approached me about a song he liked off of my album titled The Syllabus called "Introduction for Hate Music," and he wanted to shoot a video for it. The song itself is short, more of an interlude/intro, and I was skeptical at first. Not skeptical because of the song, but when someone approaches you for a video shoot, you're like, "stop pulling my chain!" After a lot of back and forth phone calls, I understood his seriousness and professionalism. A contract was signed and we shot soon after.
Where did you shoot the video? How did it go?
We shot scenes across from The Main Depot [tavern] on West Wilson Street in front of a warehouse with some railroad tracks next to it. I believe the feel was for an industrial look.
I remember very clearly that the state high school wrestling tournament was being held nearby at the Kohl Center, so even though it was early, a lot of people were passing by. I remember being feeling very awkward outside -- rapping to my song in the freezing cold with a little boom box in front of a camera -- and having people walk past looking like, "What the hell?"
It was a lot harder to do than I ever expected. After a while, of course, things got more comfortable and the shoot got easier. We also shot a scene on the side of the Mifflin Street Co-op, with others at my apartment and on State Street too.
There are some references to Madison in the track. What was your message?
Here are the lyrics:
There no record labels here, this a rap ghost town,
It used to go down
At Luther's Blues and The Annex,
You got to feed an ox more than a sandwich
First, I have to say I love my hometown and its people for all their love and support. But when you look at the hip -hop demographics, the major labels don't know anything about us or where we are located. When I went to New York recently to shop music and network, I found myself explaining more about where I'm from and where it is than what my music was all about. It's frustrating.
That's what I meant by "rap ghost town" (and still do). It's a shame, because there are plenty of talented hip hop artists that could really be marketed on a national level, shit, if not worldwide. That's what I'm all about! OX is trying to make it known that we are here, and ain't going nowhere. I want to be that frontrunner regardless of the outcome.
When I say it used to go down at Luther's Blues and The Annex, I meant that these are the two place I ever did shows at (and shouts to them). As you can see, though, The Annex rarely does hip hop shows anymore, and Luther's is closed. So obviously you can give OX just a sandwich. I want more, I'm hungry.
If you're hungry to watch "Introduction for Hate Music," here is the video:
"For a three-person crew with just a camera, a few mini DV tapes and a few hours to shoot, though, it's really not bad at all," says Land. "OX has since come out with a new album, and I like quite a bit of his new stuff, so I'm sure we'll be working together on something else before long."