If the last couple weeks are any indication, it would appear safe to presume the Black Umbrella family is ready to unleash an onslaught of content upon the masses this year. It became evidently more clear when, after dropping the cinematic "Clout", Raz Simone returned with two new videos in just about as many days.
The first release came in the form of the Paul Judge-produced "Jose", a plug-feuled anthem accompanied by another Jacob Hill-shot visual experience. Filmed on location in Guadalajara, Mexico, "Jose" showcases Simone and Anthony Danza laying their fiery verses in all the places most tourists would be unable to visit. Apparently, someone in Black Umbrella knows the plug...
"To by my friend, I should make you have a wavier signed,
'Cause anytime I'm out, it could be danger, danger time"
In the heart and soul of cartel country, Simone uses the video to once again reveal and put on display just how "real" he is. As noted in the "Clout" piece, Raz is no gimmick - his music, his demeanor, his lifestyle is unapologetically authentic.
While other artists may rap about certain unlawful activities in hopes of gaining "street cred", Simone shoots a music video in the obscure areas of a city where most people won't, can't and don't visit. He doesn't need to speak on anything directly in hopes of being viewed in a certain light - rather, he performs on the streets and in the mansions of Guadalajara, decked out in his chains and rings. Not only is Raz shooting a video in these tourist-free locations, he's doing so without the fear of being jumped, robbed, kidnapped and/or killed.
Hands down, one of the highlights of "Jose" is the uncaging of Anthony Danza, who laces the track with his accent-heavy verse after the police detain and then release him to Raz. Danza brings a smooth, confident flow to "Jose", which compliments the raspy, grimy sound provided by Simone. "Jose" serves as a great introduction to what Danza is capable of and sets the stage for future releases - both solo and guest spots - from the Black Umbrella artist. It's worth noting that Danza received co-producer credits on "Clout", so he's bringing multiple talents to the table.
Both artists ride the heavy crashes of the aggressive instrumental, with the sonic waves calming exactly when they need to, allowing the verses to rise above the production momentarily until the vocals and the beat once again coexist. As is common with Simone's releases, the viewer/listener gets a real sense of the teamwork that exists amongst the Black Umbrella brethren. Each aspect of the final product plays it's role in creation of a full, visual and auditory experience. The verses are complimented by the production, and vice versa.
Simultaneously, Jacob Hill's ability to shoot and edit with such precision compliments the track itself to perfection. With so many artists eager to release an abundance of content, it's easy to come across videos that seem forced and, for lack of a better term, almost pointless. When Raz, Hill, and the rest of Black Umbrella come together, they are making sure each scene, each shot, each snare crash, each inflection of the voice...everything serves a purpose, everything is meaningful and everything adds to the final product.
Watch Raz Simone's "Jose" visuals below.