Riky Rick – “Exodus”


Your video look like a GoPro / Mina I only do art

 These are Riky Rick’s closing bars on Cassper Nyovest’s “Le Mpitse” where the BOYZNBUCKS rapper features. From winning the video of the year for “Nafukwa” at the MTV Africa Music Awards to his work with Kyle Lewis on the “FUSEG” video; it’s clear that these weren’t just bars for the sake of flexing. He’s consistently backed this up with arguably the most artistic music videos coming from hip-hop in South Africa.

To conclude, the visual treatment on his Family Values album, Riky Rick went all in with the art. On the 10th of February, Boss Zonke announced the premiere screening Exodus at the Bioscope in Maboneng. A week later the short film was released online through Vimeo and you could only stream the film by visiting his website. Although YouTube has a bigger audience, Vimeo is the platform where film art lives; with a community of film enthusiasts and a cleaner layout and no adverts. Let’s just say that you will never find a video of parliament remixed into a hit-song on Vimeo.

Exodus was written, produced and directed by long-time Riky Rick collaborator Kyle Lewis. The short film is sound tracked by “Makaveli”, “Thuglife”, “Come Alive”, “Bambalela” and “Shining” from the gold-selling Family Values. Exodus uses the close relationship between art, film and music to give us a different look into the harsh realities of many South African kids and Riky’s own exodus from those realities.

The conceptual film is divided into three chapters. In Neverland we see a boy and a girl escape a gang culture and an abusive home by flying like shooting stars out of their environment. Rise follows a teenager who seems disconnected from his gang of friends who are having a good time drinking and laughing around a table. His story culminates in a tense stand-off between his gang and another gang where he chooses to interrupt the imminent violence by breaking out in dance. In the final chapter, Power, we see Riky carrying his sufferings as a king with the symbolic crown of thorns. He literally rises from the dirt in a rubbish dump to be the king of his own fate.

Where Riky Rick could have flexed more and stuck to the typical commercial hip-hop video model, he rather chose to use his reach and influence to share a message which is important to him. A message which says there is gold in everyone regardless of the environment you find yourself in.

“When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful”

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