“This is not about me. This is not about Cody [Colton Otte]. This is about George Floyd. This is about Ahmaud Arbrey. This is about Elijah McClain. This is about Toyin [Salau]. This is about every Black person who has been murdered because of systematic oppression.”
Those are the words of MC Longshot regarding his newest project, a 13-minute visual piece he created with Colton Otte of Blue G Productions, accompanying his new EP I’m Saying.
The video opens with Longshot waking up to texts from his aunt amidst the weeks of protests in Minneapolis.
“My aunt and my mother, those two women, women keep coming back to save us from evil,” Longshot said. “They reached out and said, I know you are passionate, and I know you are angry, but you need to do what you do best. ”
After receiving this guidance, Longshot began to channel his energy into creating I’m Saying and the accompanying visual EP. “We wanted to focus on some of the artwork and the way the community was rebuilding,” Longshot said. “For me as a Black man, seeing videos of violence against Black people can be very triggering, so we wanted to move away from that.”
MC Longshot’s pain and passion are captured as he first reflects in his home. An extended shot of the artist in his bathroom, wearing just a towel, communicates a palpable agony during the song “Ioneed.”
“That was a very emotional shoot,” Longshot said. “This is my life. This ain’t no video, this is my life. It’s hard, but it’s needed — it’s part of the process of healing.”
The continued trust between Otte and MC Longshot contributes to the vulnerability the rapper was able to show. “It’s a very personal piece,” Otte said. “I didn’t coach him or direct him in any way. This is his story.”
The video moves from this highly personal space into the streets of Minneapolis, and it ends up in front of the burnt remains of the Third Precinct. The artist’s raw authenticity is tangible as he continues his impassioned delivery in these public spaces, moving his energy into a call to action.
“It’s a testament to his music and the way that he writes. We don’t need to put filters on it, people just need to hear what he’s saying,” Otte said, “especially now.”
The video concludes with Longshot looking steadily into the camera and speaking directly to the viewer, saying, “This is not a call for violence. This is a call for change. This is a call for revolution, and if you can’t get with it, you’re gonna get left behind.”
On the message of the video as a whole, MC Longshot said, “I want everyone to be inspired by it, but at the end of the day, I’m a Black man in America, and that’s what I’m doing: making Black music for Black music to be inspired by.”
The themes expressed in this work exist as a part of a much larger fabric. “We’re talking about police brutality, and we’re talking about domestic violence. These are things important everywhere, but especially [for] Minneapolis and what we’re going through in our music community,” MC Longshot said. “I want to stress how important it is to give artists like myself, artists of color, artists like Psalm One; BDotCroc; Angel Davanport; so many incredible women artists of color that deserve to be heard, really heard, and to be felt. The way they’re carrying our community is so dope.”
All proceeds from purchasing the EP on Bandcamp will go to “community organizations in Chicago and Minneapolis working to end police brutality and social injustices.”
Every other Friday we take a behind-the-scenes look at a new music video from a Minnesota artist. Send submissions to fridayfive [at] mpr.org!