Phoenix-based rapper Tyraid recently graced audiences with the eerily-topical video for his 2019 track “Rectified.” The song comes from the May 2019 album, Outbreak, – TYRAID’s project with renowned producer and spinner, DJ Green Lantern. The tune might be a year old, but holy-hell, the new video is right on point.
Following Tyraid through a post-apocalyptic Southwest setting – which, in actuality, is just an economically degraded and abandoned community – the “Recitified” video is a metaphor for the rapper’s experiences within the music industry, but it’s also a damning condemnation of ignored poverty, an homage to the Hollywood film The Book of Eli, and a hair-raising look at a quiet world that is now all-too-familiar.
With so much going on, we’re handing this one over to Tyraid to carry us through. In this prophetic Guest Blog, the rapper describes his journey with the song and video. Check out the awesome track – complete with slick rhymes, a refreshing instrumental detour, and a Dumb and Dumber reference – and enjoy a curated tour through the striking world of “Rectified.”
Tyraid Details the Experience of “Rectified”:
– I set out to create a visual for my song “Rectified” that captures the spirit of perseverance while enduring what feels like endless hardship. The song itself starts off with talking about the real-life consequences of dreaming something so impractical then setting out to see it through. Financial disparity, poor diet, odd jobs, the gritty life; these are the rewards for striking out on the path I chose. Art is the love of life. At its most primal form, life is about survival and evolution. So, no matter what happens, I believe all ills will be rectified.
The beat Green Lantern sent me perfectly underscores the message of the record. Incidentally, this is the second iteration of the song. The original production, a more uptempo, harder-hitting beat, was already turned in to Conway before accidentally being included in the batch sent to me. At first, it was discouraging because I really loved the record.
However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, once we decided to go with the final production. Rewriting the lyrics allowed for a more personal first verse, defiant second, and optimistic final vox. All things happen for a good reason.
When it came down to actually planning the video for “Rectified,” I didn’t know how foretelling it or its parent project OUTBREAK (originally subtitled “Global Pandemic Imminent) would be. I decided my video would serve as an homage to the post-apocalyptic action-adventure The Book of Eli, starring my all-time favorite actor, Mr. Denzel Washington. The film’s story of survival and spiritual undertones served as metaphors for my intense love and dedication to music and my determination to escape the derelict “desert” that is the fringes of the independent music industry. I, too, yearned for salvation and felt a calling towards a higher purpose.
I told long-time collaborator Jon “Sound Vision” Diaz of my “vision” and he responded with an immediate interest in bringing this to life. We split location scouting duties (with me securing the decrepit shopping center and his abandoned cabin location) and prepared a rough storyboard. Weeks prior to this, I stopped shaving and began growing my hair out in order to keep within the theme of the shoot.
We split the filming into four different days, shooting in order of the storyboard. It’s absolutely numbing walking through entire abandoned shopping complexes so close to Phoenix. For years, I drove past this very complex and have witnessed its economic scuttling and inevitable deterioration. I think it was when we arrived at the abandoned cabin community that I began to realize this film’s parallels with what felt like an impending economic collapse — and this was pre-COVID.
Since the story is literally about a man’s journey through the wasteland, I wanted to keep human interaction to a minimum, with the first sign of life being a recently deceased wanderer just outside the cabin. He represented all of the casualties in the fight for survival as artists. The two men (played by Justin “Penny” Correa and Johnny Fesler) represented the gatekeepers and their exploitative nature. As an emaciated artist, I’ve had my limited share of hostile encounters with these types along the way. It’s implied one survives because the system always will, as it’s human nature, no matter the field. We don’t see what happens because we’re not meant to dwell, but to keep it moving.
The first appearance of the opposite sex is in the form of my friend Reshauna Striggles. It is meant to allude to the divinity that is Woman, hence the parallel of the main character also discovering water, the essence of life. As he draws closer to salvation, evidence of life becomes more abundant until his arrival at the installation.
The final scene, with its heavy reference to Eli transcribing scripture (featuring True Father Allah), is shot in a blue hue in another allusion to life and new beginnings; sanctity, even. It implies that there is more work to be done than just making it to the other side. One must serve as testimony for others on their journey. These shots consist of those who survived the journey they set themselves upon. And each person depicted in these scenes has a unique personal story, off-camera. Special shout out to Aubrey Modium, Brittney Buchanon, and her mother, our dear friend Crystal Buchanon, who is no longer with us. May her legacy live in perpetuity.
The theme of this short film took a sharp turn as COVID and necessary social distancing changed the economy and our way of life as we know it. Sharp, week-long economic declines, mass layoffs, and general existential threats are the motifs of daily life for the foreseeable future. And with the strong possibility of a second-term Trump presidency and all the hazards and negligence that come with it, themes like this video no longer seem far-fetched.
Hopefully, this reminds us of what we need to do as a society to avert the potential reality depicted in this film. We are in historic, defining times. But as long as we operate on the same wavelength and play the long game, this too shall be rectified.