Azeem, who started his career as a slam poet, has since become one of the most respected MC and lyricist in the Bay Area. He has injected his fusion of hip hop and reggae styles and hard-hitting lyrical attacks into six albums, all of which have been independently released and have led him to be a major player in the underground West Coast scene. His latest single is “Latin Revenge” which is set to a colorfully animated (using paper cut-outs) video that takes the viewer through the heavily latino-populated Mission District of San Francisco.
While elsewhere on his latest album, Air Cartoons, Azeem tackles some heavy subjects with his rhymes, he’s all laid back and free-flowing on the tropical-vibed “Latin Revenge”. The director wisely makes the lyrics a focal point showing literal interpretations of the seemingly random, strung-together phrases (which is especially fun with lines like “get pissed, beat down a chicken with a pool stick” where we see Azeem doing just that).
Throughout the video, there’s also a variety of densely packed cultural references that makes watching it at least twice through a must. The first time through I caught the visual references to Star Wars, George Orwell’s 1984, and the recreation of the last scene from King Kong. After subsequent viewings I spotted an Andy Warhol painting (which is also a Velvet Underground album), Count Chocula, and G.I. Joes. I’m also pretty sure I saw Shaquille O’Neal with a mustache in a sombrero and Coolio’s head on a lady’s body, and I don’t have to tell you how awesome that is.