Harlem and Washington Heights local HoZ returns to the scene with Kill Em, the latest track from his 8th Wonder album. This video was directed and shot entirely by Chris Aran. Kill Em marks the second of a three video collaboration between the two.
HoZ will Kill Em – Chris Aran directs the video
Of course, the reference here, is to a slaying with lyrical skill. No one actually dies. Just in case you were worried. Unless they heard the track, and saw the video then they died from excitement. In which case we take no responsibility. View at your own risk as they say.
Kill Em would be the track that both HoZ and Mario Gonzalez approached me about shooting while we were doing test shoots for another video we planned on doing called Crown. More on the details of making of Kill Em here. Suffice to say there is another video in the works as the 8th Wonder album is ripe with material for visual interpretation.
After having spent some time with HoZ and Mario workshopping ideas, even impromptu ones like what we did for Kill Em, one thing is undeniable. HoZ has skill behind the mic, and he’s coming to make his mark in the rap game.
Kill Em and HoZ take on Yonkers
Mario brought up the idea of shooting at a building in Yonkers he knew about that was covered in graffiti. It was abandoned which felt reminiscent of the video I had done for Morning Glory called I Am Machine Gun. I knew I didn’t want to repeat the same look and had to be careful.
We went into the building and saw artwork everywhere. Some of the work was obviously done by skilled graffiti artists and other pieces seemed to be less focused. It looked as if a bunch of kids spray painted anything over other peoples work just to piss the original artists off. We’d stepped into a subculture battle ground and I was intrigued.
As fortune would have it, two incredibly talented artists showed up and within an hour offered to paint a piece for HoZ as a backdrop. They even added the Kill Em title over the piece so it was custom for our video. We spent most of the afternoon shooting sweeping performance shots using nothing but natural light in some pretty epic looking spaces.
There wasn’t much of a narrative structure but we wanted to go aggressive with both performance and some of the visuals to bring an intense energy to the video. The light was dying so we decided to return a second afternoon and grab some pickup shots of HoZ finding a mic and interacting with different elements throughout the building. After all, how would you Kill Em, without a mic?
HoZ takes the final shots to Kill Em
Let it be said that both shooting days, Kill Em would not have been successful without tremendous help from both Mario and JP. Both staples in the HoZ camp. So a tremendous thank you to them for basically doing whatever was needed to get the shots. Whether it was stirring up some pretty disgusting dirt so the the light rays looked great or carrying gear around, it wouldn’t have happened without them.
Let it also be said, that breaking glass looks great in slow motion. That, in addition to some epic looking inserts of the decaying walls and what seemed to be entire rooms that once may have housed a bunch of animals, the Kill Em insert day looked pretty fantastic.
While HoZ returns to the scene with Kill Em, the latest track from his 8th Wonder album there is plenty more to come. Directed and shot entirely by Chris Aran, Kill Em marks the second of a three video collaboration between the two and surely not the last. Don’t forget to sign up below to stay in touch to receive exclusive content coming soon as a subscriber!