I began directing music videos in 1991, my first video was Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P." I went on to direct a lot of early 90s hip hop videos in NY including Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth, Das Efx, EPMD, Run DMC, among them. Ice Cube was a huge Das Efx fan and called me to direct Da Lench Mob "Guerillas in Tha Mist" and that started our creative collaboration which continues today and has included a dozen music videos and two feature films. I've had a chance to work with amazing artists over the years including Mary J Blige, Ice Cube, Sting, Santana, Shakira, Avril Lavigne, Marc Anthony, and so many more. I continue to do music videos, they have always been a great way to combine my love of music and film.
"What The Hell"
Mary J Blige f Tizziano Ferro
Santana f Rob Thomas
Drop City Yacht Club
Wyclef f. Mary J Blige
"Someone Please Call 911"
Lil Scrappy f Lil Jon
Deon Cole "Cole Blooded Seminar" Comedy Central
"Talking For Clapping" trailer Netflix
Hannibal Buress "Live From Chicago" Comedy Central
"Not Special" Comedy Central
Kumail Nanjiani "Beta Male" Comedy Central
Paul F Tompkins "Crying and Driving" Comedy Central
Chris Hardwick "Funcomfortable"
Comedy Central / Irwin Entertainment
Katt Williams "Kattpacalypse" Showtime
Mike Epps "Under Rated..." Showtime
Greg Proops "Live at Musso & Frank" Chill TV
Host Sommore, 1 of 30 half hours
Al Madrigal "Why Is The Rabbit Crying?" Comedy Central
Pete Holmes "Nice Try, The Devil" Comedy Central
Owen Benjamin "Hi Five Til It Hurts" Comedy Central
Jo Koy "Lights Out" Comedy Central
Paul F. Tompkins "Laboring Under Delusions" Comedy Central
Miller Lite "Bathroom"
Georgia Lottery "Endzone Celebration"
Agency: BBDO Atlanta
Last Minute "Bikini Dash"
Miller Lite "Pop Pop"
Lexus CT Hybrid
Agency: Walton Isaacson
So You Think You Can Dance?
CW Launch "Get Ready"
Orlando Jones Show
I had worked with Ice Cube for many years on music videos before I had the opportunity to meet with him and discuss the third Friday movie. I got to work with great comedic talent on the movie including a discovery our casting directors help make: Katt Williams. After watching Katt's ComicView performance I responded to his combination of street edge and at the same time simple identifiable subjects. His routine was sports dances in the club, and watching TV with his kid. He had edge and heart and an immediately likable quality. After reading him there was no doubt he was our Money Mike. I love Terry Crews' performance in the movie, Katt and him were both newcomers and brought so much to the movie.
Friday After Next
Starring Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Katt Williams
HIP HOP CLASSICS
"O.P.P." was the first music video I directed for a record label, which was the classic hip-hop label Tommy Boy Records. None of us had any idea how big the song (and the video) would become, but we were all so excited to be doing the video I think we shot 4 or 5 days in a row, coming up with small new shots every day to add in. After that I was given the opportunity to direct videos for and help launch Das EFX, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Mary J Blige, and work with Run DMC, Ice Cube, EPMD, The RZA and Old Dirty Bastard, and so many artists I loved. These videos are some of the early 90s videos I directed.
Naughty By Nature "O.P.P."
Das Efx "They Want EFX"
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth "T.R.O.Y."
Mary J Blige "Real Love"
Run DMC "Down With The King"
Ice Cube "Wicked"
Das Efx "Mic Checka"
Photo - Ethiopia
These are some of the images created on two trips I was fortunate enough to take to Ethiopia. One trip for my brother and his wife’s wedding in 1999, and a second trip in 2003 when they returned with their 2 year old daughter Ghelila, at which point I tagged along on a photo expedition.
All the photos made on the second trip are Polaroids. The process of figuring out what I wanted to do was an interesting one- I wanted to get to know the people. I also didn’t want to take without giving. Then a light bulb went off- I had experimented a bit with a black and white Polaroid film that allows you to have a 3” x 4” instant black and white photo, as well as the same size negative with a little extra work. It was a great solution. I could give people their picture moments after I snapped it, sharing the experience, rather than just taking the shot walking away. This was pure approach, it felt right. Portraits are more interesting than landscapes or monuments for me. Richard Avedon is one of my heroes along with Irving Penn, they are always able to capture the spirit of the subject, sometimes serious, sometime whimsical, always presenting their subjects in a special light. Always revealing something about their subject’s soul, and in many cases something deeper about their lives and cultures.
My approach: walk out onto the street and begin stopping people, asking if I can take their picture. For this I needed the help of my sister-in-law to translate, but I was sure that once people saw their picture within 30 seconds they would get it. My camera is a 60 year old Polaroid, fascinating to look at, not modern or intimidating at all. And it worked. Every single person was excited to be photographed and within moments, holding their picture. “Me next” became the most common English phrase spoken on the corner in Addis as I stood there with my camera, my brother and all of our new friends. There was a variety of reactions, some quickly running home to change, others running inside to grab a telephone to hold in the shot, or even a cassette tape, objects meant to represent status, reminding me of some of my early hip hop videos. Others simply needed a photo, most likely for identification. Only one subject the entire time did not want me to take a picture: a young kid on a motorcycle in the park. I saw his tricked out dirt bike with a rose on the handle bars and went to take his shot, but he sped off. Of course others were game, so I began shooting. Within 30 seconds of the crowd gathering to see the Polaroids guess who sped back over and said “Me next”?
I present these photos as a peek into a culture I never would have expected I would become so immersed in, and passionate about. In these photographs I hope to show both what we have in common as people as well as what makes Ethiopians unique. Strength, curiosity, fascination, pride, pain, all can be found in these photos. The souls of these subjects, people I made friends in photographing are shown here as strong minded individuals living lives similar to ours; striving for just a bit more, a pair of sunglasses, a new phone…going to work, coming home, trying to find some excitement. In some I see deeper pain and struggle. Though I don’t know the full stories, I can clearly identify that emotion in their eyes. I hope I have represented all of them well, if only just for a moment.
Marcus Raboy, 2009.
Photo - Classic Comics
I picked five comics I work with and had them play classic comics for a photo shoot. My idea was for these comics to pay homage to the greats and challenge themselves to recreate specific shots of these iconic performers. We found out it's much more than just imitating a facial expression or pose, it involves stepping into the role from within. When it works you can really see it in the eyes. I look forward to adding to the series.