Take Another Trip into the Dope Piece Video Vault with “Stylin'”
With his third video this year, Dope Piece is not only proving his place as a prolific St. John’s phenom of an emcee, but also as a determined artist in the medium of self-produced music videos. The new Dope Piece video treatment for his track “Stylin'” premiered at a pop up art show at Factory in St. John’s last month, but has since hit the web for all eyes to stream.
As the third episode in a series of visual cuts to accompany his 2016 album DOPEACE, the ocular execution of “Stylin'” returns to the signature VCR mixtape mode of earlier Dope Piece video endeavours. While his last effort “Party Joint” was an homage to throwback house party films, and took a stylistic swerve with a more polished and production-heavy approach, “Stylin'” pulls back to the glitchy and bugged out hi-8 fever of the Dope Piece videography.
Featuring the trademark bops and snaps of DJ Mike’L’s sample-heavy underwater groove, Dope Piece dances lyrically over the meticulous production with a flow that balances a loose demeanour with an impressive delivery. Some rappers become obsessed with skill-sharpening showmanship and can quickly turn music into a soulless talent show. Think about virtuosic guitar players and musicians who compose for the sole purpose of showboating a skillset. Think about the musician who sweeps and noodles his guitar to inspire a superficial awe, and then think about the songwriter who wields his technical talents to tastefully enhance a song and not smother it with the sop of their ego. Dope Piece falls into the latter category. As much as Dope Piece is an emcee armed to the teeth with ability, his position as a songwriter and a stylistic visionary sets him apart from the unrealized windbag rappers who are only eager to show you how many bars they can spit in a long breath. “Stylin'” is no better example of Dope Piece’s artistic vision with a song and video that cocktail a focused headspace, mood and aesthetic.
Watch the hair braiding, bus riding, street loitering vibes float through the wake-and-bake air of “Stylin'” here.
Spanning both PIECESIGNS in 2015 and DOPEACE is 2016, it is worth noting that this is the 8th Dope Piece video, not including live sessions and promotional material, to be released in the last two years. “Stylin'”, like the rest of the DOPEACE album, features production by DJ Mike’L. The video was shot in Toronto by Steelcut, edited by Dope Piece, and features animation by Based Penney.