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Jimmy Prime: Bleeding Bull

I was probably in the sixth grade when Busta Rhymes' 'When Disaster Strikes' came out, and when I bought it on CD at HMV, one of the first things I did was flip through the liner notes to see the credits. No one told me to, and I didn't understand much about Art Direction at that age, but I assumed it involved conceptualizing the project's imagery and I wanted to do that once I grew up—in my mind, it was still a form of design. For the record, 'When Disaster Strikes' is still one of my favourite rap album covers of all time! Beyond just the artwork, the entire aesthetic of that album, (made possible by the god Alli Truch) from the videos to the live performances, made me understand—I'd even say programmed me—to value the importance of a cohesive presentation at a young age.

Jimmy Prime's 'Bleeding Bull' EP was still without any visual reference when it was first sent to me. *Shout out Jermane an'nem* The lead single Gucci Denim stood out to me immediately and I thought, here's another opportunity to cross reference the ever changing sub-genres within music and fashion, in which, the lines between high end and hood rich have ultimately blurred. The now familiar aesthetic of high street is not uncommon, like, do we even call it hip-hop anymore? Is it Trap-Pop? Pop-Hop? I couldn't categorize it, I won't try to. At this point, genres and cultures will continue to blend, and need to be accepting of one another. After all, this is why you have rappers in Dior (ads) post 2015.

Prime's aesthetic (as a collective) has been positioned as high end hood before this project, which made narrowing in on this direction easier. Never forget, Jay Whiss said that a girl called his shoe a Balee-en-see-yaga. You could just see that as a play on words, but I think it illustrates just how ironic the relationship between rap and the runway really is. One is culture and the other is industry, and for the longest time industry would often disregard or appropriate culture until culture drove industry. I'm glad the pendulum swung, and is still swinging.

We did the editorial (below) at the same we were filming the video. A lot was happening simultaneously, but that was also an advantage in making everything cohesive that one day. I had an idea a few days before the shoot to pass my phone around to everyone on set in one continuous shot—an alternate mobile version of the official video—that would give multiple perspectives of the space since behind the scenes coverage is usually left up to one person. Plus, I feel content sharing is becoming more candid, and less of a production. That doesn't mean high quality visuals aren't neccessary, its moreso a balance, one I call Lo End Hi Res. I just made that up lol

I appreciate artists both mainstream and independent who have and still put energy into the music and the imagery. Sometimes I feel like we're in this post-tumblr era where visuals don't matter if you can go viral or live at the top of the charts. Trust me, the audience remembers the visuals. Mike couldn't just rely on Thriller as a hit single, and what if he did? I'm rambling, but my point is, the imagery is crucial, its inspiring. Next to words, it is the fibre of storytelling.

Project Year: 2017
Director (Gucci Denim): Rob Pilichowski
Creative Direction: Sean Brown
Artwork/Design: Sean Brown, Mihailo Andic
Photography: Neva Wireko (Editorial), Dale Wilcox (bts)
Styling/Casting: Sarah Vee
Hair/Makeup: Mila Victoria
Special Thanks: Jermane Prime, Wes Dors, Michael Rousseau