That time I…was a videographer for a high school rapper



By Anthony Parlogean

I thoroughly enjoy hip hop music and the culture that follows this genre. Unfortunately, I have not been endowed with the necessary rhythmic abilities and mic skills needed to succeed in the rap game. I understood this in high school, and compensated these deficits with my innate filmmaking skills; I convinced my classmate, an up-and-coming rap artist, that every rapper needs a video guy. He agreed, and even provided the video camera.

I was ecstatic to show off my filmmaking skills and my classmate was excited to show off his rap skills. We started off simple by making our first music video in town. His white Mustang was featured heavily in the video. We filmed around the high school parking lot, at the football field and at his home studio. After editing the footage and posting the final video on YouTube, it garnered a whopping 500 views within a few months.

It was around this time that a beef exploded between my classmate and a first-year student rapper. The first-year student responded to our music video by releasing a diss track. We took it personally and decided to respond with another music video to end his rap career.

Having the experience of making our first music video, we had ambitious expectations for our next project. We drove all the way into the heart of Dallas to shoot the music video to end all music videos. We filmed in the upper levels of a parking garage. We filmed under a colossal bridge where a homeless man was sleeping. We filmed in a dilapidated area next to a polluted lake. The epic scope of our music video would remove all doubts as to the technical skills of the videographer and musical talents of the rapper.

Our grand endeavors didn’t make the impact that we intended. The edited video didn’t export into the correct format, resulting in the video being cropped inappropriately. The music video didn’t end the rap career of the first-year student we both despised. The second music video received less views on YouTube than the first. Everything seemed to be going awry.

Despite these setbacks, we both thoroughly enjoyed the process of making music videos. My classmate was able to hone his skills as a rapper and I was able to live vicariously through him. It seemed to work out for both of us.