Video For Lead Single From The Day The Turf Stood Still Details Gentrification in the Fillmore District
As the March 9th release date for DaVinci's debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still, approaches, the rising Fillmore District emcee is proud to release the video for the lead single from the album for the song, "What You Finna Do." Shot in black and white and featuring powerful visuals throughout, DaVinci uses the video as a means to drive home the song's message as he speaks on the powerful and hotly debated topic of gentrification, an issue not only affecting his own neighborhood but urban areas across the country. Speaking on his inspirations for penning the song, DaVinci explains, "I was inspired to write this song to address an open ended question to the neglected inner-city communities world wide." The video's chilling depiction follows DaVinci through his home city, or at least the city that used to feel like home.
As the video plays through, it's clear the city that has raised DaVinci is rapidly changing - not only do the corners that provided DaVinci's livelihood now house trendy coffee shops, but the District's illustrious history is being whitewashed as families are being pushed out and neglected with urban renewal. "If you don't have the money to live here in the Western Addition, you have to go," says the vocal sample setting the song's tone as the single begins. To match DaVinci's potent lyrics with equally powerful visuals, the video, directed by Marcus Ubungen, whose credits include Island/Def Jam Records, Nike, and more, was shot at a number of locations significant to DaVinci and representative of the changes affecting the Fillmore community - Lily's BBQ is one of the few remaining black owned businesses in the area, while the Marcus Garvey homes represents one of a handful of public housing projects in the area, known both for raising a number local rap stars and street legends as well as being the destination of many police drug raids. Says Johan Thomas of DaVinci's label SWTBRDS Creative Collective, who assisted in selecting many of the locations for the video shoot, "The video paints Westside in a light that reflect the community at large. Its desolate landscape proves the plight of the many families who have left the community."
DaVinci's new album, The Day The Turf Stood Still, will be available for sale and free download March 9, 2010 via SWTBRDS Creative Collective.
The Fillmore District has bred more rappers per capita than any other district in San Francisco, and although the older generations recall its rich musical history rooted in Jazz, the Fillmore today is rife with drugs, turf wars, and mass gentrification. DaVinci, a young MC raised in the Fillmore, is a prime example of the duality of this area, who at the age of 13 was homeless, hungry, and hopeful for a way out. Explains DaVinci, "My music has everything to do with my environment: from robbing, killing, pimpin' to selling and abusing drugs," he explains about his heavy content. "It's a direct reflection of what my friends and family have been through and are still going through." While his story is similar to many other young rappers upbringings, DaVinci was surrounded by an incredible pool of Fillmore talent and by studying with the greats, he was able to sharpen his skills and aim higher than most, cultivating his story-telling abilities beyond mere drug-and-gun-talk. Growing up in the same 10-block radius as Bay Area rap legends San Quinn and JT the Bigga Figga, DaVinci was content in merely watching the next generation follow in their footsteps, until he received overwhelming praise from his peers from a mixtape appearance, which then prompted him to pursue rap professionally. In 2006, San Quinn welcomed him onto the "Pressure Makes Diamonds Tour" with rap veterans Xzibit and Tech N9ne. Since the tour, DaVinci has kept busy appearing on numerous mixtapes and compilations, as well as preparing his official debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still. The Day The Turf Stood Still will be available March 9, 2010 via SWTBRDS Creative Collective. Streams: