A few months ago we got sent a hiphop video through the post. When we put it on we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of what we were watching.
The Bars video dozens of exciting rappers from around the UK (including a Notts section featuring J Gold, Gully from Fort Notts and Black Viking). It juxtaposes these with clips of party boys such as Damon Dash and some of the countries most prominent black footballers to create an interesting overall product.
Low budget it might be, but in many ways it's a bit of a rough diamond. Many people talk about how they want to make a film, but these guys have put in the legwork and got it together. I caught up with the crew to find out a little more...
Tell us about the Low Budget TV crew? What brought you together..?
Ernest: "I started filming at the start of summer 2004 on road messing about, then put together LBTV and showed Marcus Okey and Afix who had more belief in it than I did myself, Marcus and I thought up the Slogan Black Arts Rules Streets cause weren't feeling the `urban' umbrella that has come about.
Marcus: "I knew Ernest from school and when he told me he had an idea I said I would help however I could. Basically I help him with interviews and the some promotion."
Okey: "Yeah I handle the midlands division, I have a small collective of people out here that help me with anything concerning LBTV. I would just like to take this opportunity to show some luv to certain peoples who have been very supportive, like Galum, Deji Soji Black Viking and Rio."
How long did it take to film this?
Ernest: "It took roughly four months to film and a month of hibernation to edit as I have no qualifications in this field it is all self taught which a lot of people don't realise."
Tell us a bit about the rappers that feature on this video. Where did you find them all?
Ernest: "A lot of the interviews were set up through friends such as Afix, Marcus and Okey who all contributed, some of the artists we wanted didn't take us seriously so I worked with the footage I had and just tried to make it as unique as possible. We chose those artists because they were un-established but had plenty of talent that needs to be put out there and that was our main aim for people to know about LBTV.
Who are your favourite rappers generally? Do you prefer the US or UK styles?
Ernest: "For me it's about the artists' delivery and the way he rides a beat. I felt Logan, Wariko for he's lyrical content, Nolan's poetry is unique."
Marcus: "Hip-hop originated in USA so obviously they are the fore fathers but at the end of the day we need to support our own and build an economy in this country for our future young ones."
Who are the best rappers that we've never heard of?
Marcus: "I am feeling Logan, Wariko and Nolan as they have a more conscious message and don't really use the "N" word too unnecessarily. But it's all about the delivery for me."
Okey: "When it comes to peeps I've met along my travels, I'll say man's like Wariko, Logan & 3rd Eye are hott, they should have mixtapes dropping soon. Larr (willi murda), I thought his mixtape, street anticipations vol 1 was tight. When it comes to females, I feel like C-Mone is holding it down still."
What are your plans for Low Budget TV in 2005?
"More music videos, check out Channel U for the latest LBTV video, short films, documentaries, look out for the Road is Hot and the UK Ruff Ryders DVD's coming soon. Hopefully, some of these big bosses/ influential people will take note and stand up, cause it's not easy doing this so any help that anyone is willing to offer would be greatly appreciated."
Okey: "Like Ernest says, we're just looking to keep it moving."
Anything else that you would like to say?
Okey: "Check out our website, where you can get a background to LBTV. Check out the forum where you can listen to music, watch exclusive video clips, find out more info on featured artist as well as general news from the music industry. If you're an artist that would like to be on the DVD give us a call on 07939 229184 (Midlands) and 07958 120917 (Down South)."
"Nottingham Hip-hop is Fire when I First heard Wariko I lost it and Gully from Fort Notts I had to get them on it. Nottingham has a lot of talent it's just that we don't get to see it often down hear in London so nobody knows about them properly so I decided I'm gonna make them know. It ain't just about London."
Okey: "Yep, definitely feeling Notts hip-hop. There is such a wealth of talent in Notts at the moment, from the ex-members of Out Da Ville, to crews like; Robbin Hoodz, Fort Nottz, to mans like 45 & Cappo, to producers like Joe Buddha, Nicky Dimples & Fever to Smokes & Bluntz and of cause Black Viking, Notts is definitely bubbling."
What can we expect from the Bars 2 DVD?
Ernest: "Expect more street action, more freestyles, more profiles. We have action from down south to the midlands, from the likes of Kano, PDC, Street Dreams Skeme, Sway, SAS, Cam'ron, Yogi, Blaq Eye, Fort Notts, C-mone, Wiley, Mystro, Low-key, Skinnyman, Karl Hinds, Willis Rose, Guru, Hectic Boyz, D Double E, Ghetto, Choong Family, Logan, Asha D, NG Cartel, and more."
Okey: "We've got that dropping at the end of January, so make sure you rush that because its goner be hott. You should find it in your local record stores, so support the cause."
It's interesting that you included footage of famous people like Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble on the DVD? What were you intentions with that?
Okey: "This was to show the difference in young black people's lives in our society. On one hand you have mans who are blazing and shottin everday, on that day-to-day grind, that day-to-day hustle. On the other hand you have them platinum boys, you have Kieron Dyer taking delivery of his fresh canary yellow Lamborghini, while Titus is being hounded all day for his autograph. But the one thing that everyone that is featured on this DVD have in common is that they all started life out in a low budget environment."